Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine Saturday, January 12 – 11:30 p.m. ET
Chesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma City, OK
Nate Marquardt (34-10-2) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (13-3) Welterweight championship bout
Line: Marquardt -340, Saffiedine +260
In the final Strikeforce bout before the promotion is merged with UFC, welterweight Nate Marquardt will put his championship belt on the line against Tarec Saffiedine Saturday night in Oklahoma City.
Once a contender for the UFC middleweight title, Marquardt debuted as a welterweight in his last fight when he won the vacant Strikeforce welterweight belt with a fourth-round KO of Tyron Woodley. Saffiedine lost to Woodley in January of 2011, but has demonstrated great growth since then, battling out wins against Scott Smith, Tyler Stinson and Roger Bowling. What should make this fight interesting is that Marquardt really likes to win before the final bell, while Saffiedine has never lost that way—he is a top-notch defender and all three of his career losses have been decisions. And with big help from the lines, play on SAFFIEDINE as a sizable underdog to win this one with the judges.
Dating back to 2007, Marquardt fought for the UFC middleweight championship, ultimately losing to Anderson Silva. At 6-foot-0, he owns a two-inch height advantage in this fight, something that could come in useful with his boxing-heavy fighting style. He also works in some Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu, but strikes form a great deal of his attacks, setting up the potential for a submission. He owns 15 career submissions, his most common victory method. He’ll be on the lookout to do that in this bout, but it may be difficult against such a talented defender.
Of Saffiedine’s 13 career wins, seven have been via decision, while all three of his losses have come that way. The lesson is that he is comfortable sending a fight to the judges, something he will likely be fine with again, especially against a foe who doesn’t excel that way. A black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, he has the potential to earn a submission victory—which he has done five times in his career—but that appears unlikely against a top-notch opponent who won’t slip up like that. Still, take Saffiedine for his chance to win with a decision.