Home » Blog » Marquedt Meets Saffiedine as Strikeforce Closes Its Doors

Marquedt Meets Saffiedine as Strikeforce Closes Its Doors

Nate Marquedt will defend his welterweight title against Tarec Saffiedine on Saturday night in the main event of Strikeforce's final ever event.

Mixed martial arts promotion Strikeforce will host its final event this weekend at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM on Saturday night and will feature an 11-bout card, headlined by Nate Marquedt’s welterweight championship defense against Tarec Saffiedine.

The event – the 63rd to be presented by Strikeforce – will be the promotion’s first since Aug. 18, following the cancellation of two previous events.

Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy – scheduled to take place on Sep. 29, from the Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, Calif. – was cancelled following an injury to No. 1 contender, Pat Healy. The matchup was rescheduled for this Saturday, but injuries forced lightweight champion Gilbert Milendez out of the bout.

Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir – scheduled to take place on Nov. 3, from Chesapeake Energy Arena – was cancelled after MMA legend Frank Mir was forced to pull out of a fight with much-heralded newcomer Daniel Cormier, due to injury.

Strikeforce’s first event came on Mar. 10, 2006, where Frank Shamrock defeated Cesar Gracie in 20 seconds at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Cali. That same event saw current UFC star Nate Diaz defeat Tony Juares.

Saturday’s event will play out as a farewell to fans, following the purchase of the company by Zuffa LLC, the parent company of rival promotion, UFC, in March 2011.

Nate Marquedt (32-10-2) will put his Strikeforce welterweight title on the line in Saturday’s headline bout, welcoming challenger Tarec Saffiedine (13-3).

Last time out (Jul. 14), Marquedt defeated Tyron Woodley in four rounds to take the vacant welterweight crown. The victory marked a second straight for Nate “The Great”. The fight itself also marked the first time the Denver fighter had fought outside of the UFC octagon in seven years.

Saffiedine (13-3) has won three straight bouts and is 5-1 when fighting in Strikeforce. That one defeat came in January 2011 when Tyron Woodley took a unanimous decision. Saffiedine has won all but one of those contests by decision, four unanimously.

Marquedt will look to make use of a height and reach advantage, as well as superior takedown skills. Saffiedine is the superior striker, and will need to make a lot of contact to get anything out of this bout.

Bookmakers favor the champion to successfully defend his title. Odds for Marquedt to win stand at 1/3, compared to 23/10 for Saffiedine.

The undercard is spearheaded by a heavyweight bout between Daniel Cormier (10-0) and Dion “The Soldier” Staring.

Undefeated Cormier was crowned the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion on May 19, after taking a unanimous decision over Josh Barnett – who is also on this weekend’s card.

Cormier has taken three of his last four by unanimous decision. His career tally includes four knockouts, three submissions, and three decisions.

Staring will be fighting in Strikeforce for the first (and last) time. The Dutch fighter has won six consecutive fights, and nine of the last 10. Of those nine wins, six came via submission.

Staring’s most high-profile bout to date came in May 2009 when he fought Antônio Rogério Nogueira in Fortaleza, Brazil. “Little Nog” won that bout via the triangle choke.

Odds makers expect Cormier – who looks poised to make a huge impact in UFC later this year – to come out of this one with his undefeated streak intact. Cormier has 1/20 odds of winning the match, whilst Staring is considered a longshot at 9/1.

Saturday’s preliminary card also features a rescheduled bout between Estevan “El Terrivle” Payan (13-3) and Michael Bravo (7-3), originally due to have taken place at the Sep. 29 event.



Saturday 12 January, 7:00 PM ET

Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

All odds supplied by Bovada.



Nate “The Great” Marquardt (32-10-2) vs. Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine (13-3)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Marquardt (1/3), Saffiedine (23/10)


Daniel Cormier (10-0) vs. Dion “The Soldier” Staring (28-7)

Class: Heavyweight

Odds: Cormier (1/20), Staring (9/1)


Josh Barnett (31-6) vs. Nandor “The Hun” Guelmino (11-3-1)

Class: Heavyweight

Odds: Barnett (1-16), Guelmino (8/1)


Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi (32-3-2) vs. Mike “MAK” Kyle (19-8-1, 1NC)

Class: Light Heavyweight

Odds: Mousasi (1/5), Kyle (7/2)


Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (16-3) vs. Ed “Short Fuse” Herman (20-8, 1NC)

Class: Catch Weight

Odds: Souza (1/4), Herman (3/1)



Pat “Bam Bam” Healy (28-16) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (7-0)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Healy (1/4), Holobaugh (7/2)


Roger Gracie (5-1) vs. Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (17-8)

Class: Middleweight

Odds: Gracie (4/13), Smith (5/2)


Tim Kennedy (14-4) vs. Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith (10-2)

Class: Middleweight

Odds: Kennedy (2/9), Smith (13/4)


KJ Noons (11-5) vs. Ryan Couture (5-1)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Noons (20/37), Couture (3/2)


Adriano Martins (23-6) vs. Jorge “J.G.” Gurgel (14-8)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Martins (4/11), Gurgel (43/20)


Estevan “El Terrible” Payan (13-3, 1 NC) vs. Michael Bravo (7-3)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Payan (20/29), Bravo (23/20)

  • 100%