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Friday, 01/11/2013, 03:25 pm

Final Strikeforce Card Predictable, Yet Still Heavily Important | MMA NEWS


This weekend will mark the final showing of the Strikeforce promotion. Although it is a bit of a sad day for the MMA community the final card looks extremely meager and one-sided, to say the least. The promotions original “Champions” card, which fell through even before it was completely formed, has turned in to the card that could be labeled “Card of the Underdogs,” with each fight looking like a Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed bout. An unknown taking on a world class fighter…the chance of a lifetime for some of these fighters. But the blame cannot be fully placed on the Strikeforce matchmakers. They did what they could with what they had remaining.

Strikeforce was never a promotion that thrived on the depth of talent in its divisions but rather on the names of a few solid individual fighters such as Nick Diaz, Gilbert Melendez, Ronda Rousey, Alistair Overeem, Jake Shields, and Dan Henderson, just to name a few. All of these fighters have now been engulfed into the UFC and Strikeforce has been left with slim-pickings to put its final card together.

It’s not often that an MMA card can be predicted with almost certainty from top to bottom, but this card takes the cake if we’re talking about “sure picks.” Still, the promotion did what it could before calling it quits, putting together one last card with a welterweight title fight as the headliner. There are never any guarantees in the fight game but if there was ever one card that came close to being a guarantee, this is it.

Here are the betting odds for many of the main fights taking place tomorrow night on Showtime:

• Nate Marquardt (-300) over Tarec Saffiedine (+230)
• Daniel Cormier (-2000) over Dion Staring (+900)
• Roger Gracie (-325) over Anthony Smith (+250)
• Ronaldo Souza (-400) over Ed Herman (+300)
• Tim Kennedy (-450) over Trevor Smith (+325)
• Pat Healy (-500) over Kurt Holobaugh (+350)
• Gegard Mousasi (-500) over Mike Kyle (+350)
• Josh Barnett (-1600) over Nandor Guelmino(+800)

Many names may be recognizable but their opponents are fairly unknowns. I honestly don’t think I have ever seen a fight card this lopsided in such a well known promotion. Regardless, this is a huge opportunity for many of these fighters that have yet to make a name for themselves on a big stage. A win tomorrow night for some of these underdogs could very well give them enough recognition to make the UFC take notice in their skills and abilities or, if nothing else, they could play spoiler to some of these big names that are UFC hopefuls after tomorrow night.

Many of these big names, like Cormier, Souza, and Mousasi, are looking to cash in dominant performances in order to score a nice deal and a good fight from the UFC after all this Strikeforce business if over with. With that being said many of these other relatively unknown talents are looking to steal that thunder and catch the attention of the UFC. Although this card seems to be “pointless” and a waste of an event in the eyes of many MMA fans, the truth of the matter is that this card is deathly important for many of these fighters trying to stay relevant in the top of the fight game. Odds or not, a fight is a fight and I guarantee each and every one of these fighters is going to come in with a fire under them. I guess what I’m saying is even though this fight card may be extremely lopsided and predictable, the outcomes of these fights are still going to play a big role in the futures of some of these fighters.

So this is not a pointless card. Rather, this card is one of the most important cards Strikeforce has ever hosted. Each one of these fighters has to bring their best performances to the cage tomorrow or they may find themselves unemployed at the close of the Strikeforce doors.

May the odds be ever with you, fighters.

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