Many casual fans only know the name Roger Bowling from his trilogy in 2010 and 2011 with Bobby Voelker. But currently, “Relentless” is getting his name out there by making a run in the Strikeforce welterweight division towards a possible title shot in the future.

After the 170-pound belt was vacated by Nick Diaz,who moved to the UFC, Nate Marquardt captured the crown by defeating Tyron Woodley in July. As far as the next top contenders in line, Bowling and his opponent for this Saturday, Tarec Saffiedine, are the two men who are worthy of fighting Marquardt for the strap.

With two straight wins under his belt, Bowling definitely feels he is in good position to fight for the belt with a win in San Diego.

“It puts me right there at the top for the title,” Bowling told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “I expect nothing less after I win.”

Bowling (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Bowling’s opponent for this Saturday at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman will be a tough test. Saffiedine is also on a two-fight winning streak. If it wasn’t for a loss to Woodley in early 2011, Saffiedine would have been fighting Marquardt for the belt. But now, the Belgian will have to earn the shot by defeating Bowling, who knows the test he’ll have in front of him.

“[He has] good, clean stand-up, good kickboxer, and also has really good takedown defense,” critiqued Bowling. “[He’s] a really tough guy, and a great fight for me.”

As far as his preparation for this fight, Bowling has continued to train out of the Cincinnati area at his gym, Team Vision MMA. The 30-year-old admits there were some struggles during this camp, but feels he is in top form coming into the fight.

“I had a few bumps and bruises in the beginning of it, but that normally happens in a long camp,” explained Bowling. “I’ve had like 12 weeks to get ready, so I feel great.”

If you look at the resume of “Relentless,” the thing that stands out is a total of seven knockout wins. Although being a finisher isn’t something to hang your head about, Bowling has also been knocked out twice by Voelker during their trilogy.

This is an area Bowling is working on trying to improve and become a more balanced fighter.

“I’m trying to actually get out of that habit,” Bowling answered when asked if it has become his mentality to go for the knockout early on in fights. “The majority of them have been by TKO or KO pretty quickly, [but] these upper-level guys can take punches like no other, so I need to be ready to go three rounds.”

Bowling (L) delivers a head kick (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Of course, if the knockout opportunity is there, Bowling isn’t going to shy away. But to knock out a guy like Saffiedine is easier said than done, as the Team Quest fighter has never been finished. However, the Cincinnati native believes he can test the chin of Saffiedine.

“Yeah, I definitely think I can, and I will on Saturday,” said the confident welterweight.

In the final days leading up to the fight, Bowling certainly has a lot to think about. One being his opponent, two is being sharp once he steps inside the Strikeforce cage, and three is a possible title shot in the future. But Bowling is comfortable handling his emotions, and he will let them out once his hand is raised on Saturday.

“I just have to keep my head level the whole time, not get caught up in everything, and not try to kill, kill, kill. Just take my time and relax in there. If I do that, then he can’t beat me.”

Roger would like to thank his sponsors Trauma MMA Clothing, Training Mask, Jerry Backman and all of his training partners at Vision MMA Chris Curtis, TJ Ball, Daniel Straus, and Mark Lemen

Photo: Roger Bowling (blue trunks) dominates his opponent (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.