My preview of Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine, which is the last Strikeforce event ever. Thank God.
Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine: I like Saffiedine and think he’s better than a lot of people give him credit for, but this is a bad match up for him. Marquardt is a well-rounded fighter who can mess a lot of people up when he decides to turn on the aggression. His problem is that he doesn’t turn on the aggression enough. Despite that flaw, he’s still a better fighter than Saffiedine, and unless Saffiedine can keep things at a distance and out-strike Marquardt, I don’t see how he wins this fight. Saffiedine is an underrated wrestler, but his best takedowns come from the clinch, and even if I thought he could put Marquardt down, he doesn’t want to clinch up with Marquardt were he runs the risk of getting beat up with dirty boxing. It’s also possible that Marquardt, an underrated wrestler and strong grappler, decides to turn the tables and put Saffiedine on his back. If Marquardt fights cautious, then he could lose this fight. But given the fact that he has 25-minutes, sooner or later he’ll press the action, overwhelm Saffiedine, and head back to the UFC.
Prediction: Marquardt, TKO, Round 3
Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring: All I know about Staring is that he trains with the Blackzilians and gets beat up by Alistair Overeem in practice. Unless he catches Cormier with the perfect punch, which is very possible, especially at heavyweight, he’s screwed in this fight. Cormier is a good striker in his own right and I wouldn’t be shocked if he decides to use this fight to continue to sharpen his striking. Of course if things don’t go well on the feet, Cormier can just revert to his world-class wrestling, put Staring on his back, and beat him up. I figure that’s going to happen anyway, as Staring will throw a leg kick, end up on the ground, and get pounded out rather quickly.
Prediction: Cormier, TKO, Round 1
Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino: I don’t know anything about Guelmino other than he sounds like a drug that Barnett has probably taken in the past. Barnett should easily win this fight, but because he is who he is, he’ll probably look rather unimpressive in doing so or he’ll take way too long to do so. Sooner or later though, Barnett will lock on some type of submission and then do his pro wrestling act in victory.
Prediction: Barnett, Submission, Round 2
Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle: Honestly, this is the best fight in the main card, which really says something. I’m not that high on Kyle, but he has improved a lot of recent years and does have KO power. It’s possible that Kyle catches Mousasi with a power punch and ends his night or, more likely, of Kyle is going to win, he’ll need to use whatever wrestling he has to get Mousasi down. Of course, even if he does that, he still runs the risk of getting beat up or submitted as Mousasi is very active off his back with his striking and submissions. If it stays standing, Mousasi should be able to pick Kyle apart. And don’t be shocked of Mousasi gets Kyle down as he has some sick ground and pound. Kyle has a good chance early, but he’ll fade as the fight goes on and that’s when Mousasi will take over.
Prediction: Mousasi, TKO, Round 2
Ronaldo Souza vs. Ed Herman: We all know that the prediction for this fight is Herman by submission. Obligatory Dustin James joke aside, Souza should easily win this fight. Herman’s entire game is getting inside and clinching up. That’s not going to work well against Souza, who has very good takedowns from the clinch and will destroy Herman on the ground with his grappling. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not Souza wants to keep the fight standing in order to showcase his ever improving boxing, but if Herman decides to clinch up, Souza likely won’t mess around too much and he’ll get the fight to ground where he’ll make short work of Herman.
Prediction: Souza, Submission, Round 2