Following every UFC and Strikeforce event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine, which took place on Jan. 12 from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

Tarec Saffiedine vs. Mike Pierce

The winner of the final Strikeforce fight was Tarec Saffiedine.

Saffiedine defeated Nate Marquardt by unanimous decision in the main event on Saturday to become the new, and final, Strikeforce welterweight champion.

“The Sponge” has been with Strikeforce since 2010, compiling a record of 7-1, and will now become a member of the UFC roster. But the question is, who should the welterweight fight?

You can make a case for a list of names, but Mike Pierce is a guy who makes a lot of sense for Saffiedine to fight in his Octagon debut. Pierce is often overlooked in the UFC’s welterweight division, but he has won three straight fights. The 32-year-old presents a tough match-up for Saffiedine, as Pierce is one of the best wrestlers in the division.

Saffiedine looked great against Marquardt, and many people are interested to see how he’ll perform in the 170-pound mix. A fight with Pierce will give him a chance to make a statement before moving on to the top UFC welterweights.

Nate Marquardt vs. Martin Kampmann

Nate Marquardt came into his title fight confident to retain his belt, but he was dominated by Saffiedine for five rounds and fell short. But there is good news for “The Great.” Marquardt spoke at the post-fight press conference Saturday, and stated he will move over to the UFC along with Saffiedine.

The move was in question considering the past history of Marquardt with the UFC after being released due to a high testosterone level, but the two sides seem to have made up. So, we will see Marquardt in the UFC for his next fight.

Martin Kampmann would be a great opponent to welcome Marquardt back to the Octagon. Kampmann is coming off a loss to Johny Hendricks, but has been a top contender for many years. Even though Marquardt lost his belt, he still is a top-15 welterweight and doesn’t deserve to take on a mid-tier guy.

With both men coming off a loss, it will make the fight very crucial. As far as styles, it’s a great match-up of two big name fighters that fans will enjoy watching.

Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir

Let’s be honest, there was no way Daniel Cormier was going to lose to Dion Staring on Saturday. Props to Staring for taking the fight and lasting almost two rounds against Cormier, but “DC” cruised to a TKO win in Oklahoma City.

Whenever a fighter tells the world on the mic who he wants to fight next, it makes writing this feature so much easier. Cormier said afterward his victory that he wants to fight Frank Mir, who he was expected to fight on the final Strikeforce card Saturday. Mir pulled out of the fight due to injury, but all signs point to the two getting matched up again, with Cormier stating the fight would take place on April 20, in San Jose, Calif.

But that wasn’t all Cormier had to say. He also added after he beats Mir, he will fight Jon Jones in the fall.

Before making the cut down to 205 pounds, Cormier will need to beat a tough UFC veteran in Mir, which is no easy task. At this point though, it appears the AKA fighter is the future of the UFC’s heavier weight classes.

Josh Barnett vs. Alistair Overeem-Antonio Silva loser

The always entertaining Josh Barnett defeated Nandor Guelmino on the main card with ease, then took to the microphone afterwards as always.

Barnett said he doesn’t know what’s next for him next, as he could either go to professional wrestling or the UFC.

If he goes to the UFC, he will be a force in the heavyweight division. Barnett is so well-rounded and could earn a title shot after only a couple of wins.

Barnett could possibly fight the loser of a UFC 156 bout between Alistair Overeem and Antonio Silva, if the UFC decides to move him over. But first, he must sit down and see what he wants to do.

The winner of the Overeem-Silva fight will move into title contention, while the loser will drop down a bit. This is where Barnett could come in and get a huge opportunity to defeat one of the two heavyweights.

Getting Barnett would be huge for the UFC, not only because he is very talented, but because he is a guy that polarizes fans—they either love him or hate him. Whether it’s one or the other, he is a big name that will draw fans to watch him fight.

Gegard Mousasi vs. Ryan Bader-Vladimir Matyushenko winner

“The Dreamcatcher” Gegard Mousasi finished his Strikeforce run nicely with a submission win over Mike Kyle.

Mousasi improves his record to 33-3-2, but even with so many fights, he is only 27 years old. Mousasi will be a great addition to the UFC and will be a tough match-up whether he fights at light heavyweight or middleweight.

That’s the question though. There have been discussions about Mousasi moving back down to middleweight, but nothing is for certain yet. This makes it difficult to determine who he should fight next.

Assuming he stays at 205 pounds, he should fight the winner of Ryan Bader and Vladimir Matyushenko, who meet at UFC on Fox 6 on Jan. 26.

The UFC probably won’t give Mousasi a top-five guy in his debut, and fighting either Bader or Matyushenko will be a good fight to figure out where he should go in his career.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Mark Munoz

In the first bout of Saturday’s main card, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza submitted Ed Herman in a catchweight bout by way of kimura.

The former middleweight champion has looked great as of late, winning his last three fights by knockout or submission. Jacare is a very dangerous fighter, and the UFC’s middleweight division better look out.

Jacare could match up with just about anybody in the division and could easily step in to take on a top contender. But an ideal fight for his debut could come against a guy like Mark Munoz. With Chris Weidman out and other fighters already having opponents, Munoz may be the perfect guy for Souza’s debut. He is coming off a tough loss to Weidman and has to work his way back up.

A fight with Souza isn’t really a fight guaranteed to put Munoz back on track, but there aren’t many other options right now in the division.

Photo: Daniel Cormier (Jerry Chavez/The MMA Corner)

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.

  • chris

    marquardt already destroyed kampmann at ufc 88

    • Corey Adams

      Good point, but that was at middleweight. Both guys have changed a lot since moving to welterweight.