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Friday, Nov 30, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” An Ironic End to Strikeforce

Nate Marquardt (right), a former UFC fighter, will headline what appears to be Strikeforce's final fight card (photo: Esther Lin / Showtime)

By Joshua Molina

Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette turned the word “ironic” into a big hit song in the 1990s, and her anthem chronicling life’s weirdness could be the soundtrack for what will likely be Strikeforce’s final mixed martial arts show on Jan. 12.

The only promotion to ever pose a legitimate threat to the UFC’s dominance, will go out with a former UFC star as its headliner, and only champion remaining.

Yes, UFC staple Nate Marquardt is the last champion standing.

How sad.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Marquardt, who holds victories over Damien Maia and Martin Kampmann.

It’s just ironic that most of the stars who carried Strikeforce the last few years are long gone or injured.

The buzz of Strikeforce feeling like a hot, edgy alternative to UFC is long gone, and what’s left is a few guys holding on, willing to take any fight for a payday.

Even the show’s other big name, Josh Barnett, made his name in the UFC and around the world. And the women’s division that Strikeforce made famous?The gals are nowhere to be found on this show.

Unfortunately, Kim Winslow will likely be the last woman standing at the Strikeforce show.

Instead we get Marquardt vs. a talented Tarec Saffiedine as a main event while Strikeforce champions Luke Rockhold and Gilbert Melendez sit it out with injuries.

As of today, the Strikeforce card features 10 matchups, including Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring, a guy who doesn’t have a photo or record, according to the Strikeforce Web site.

There’s a few Strikeforce names on the undercard. The Armenian Assassin and former light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi will return to the cage to fight Mike Kyle before Mousasi is expected to move to the UFC.

Perrenial contender Tim Kennedy is on the card, as is Roger Gracie.

The good news is that KJ Noons will finally get a fight.

He was ignored back in July when he was pining for a fight when Strikeforce staged a show in San Diego. Noons hasn’t fought since he was outwrestled by Josh Thomson.

Even though he’s lost three of his last four fights by decision, Noons is a skilled, underrated fighter who holds a TKO victory over Nick Diaz (and nearly beat him a second time).

It’s too bad he’ll be jerking the curtain against Ryan Couture on Jan. 12.

Noons is a great fighter and deserves to be fighting at the top of the card, and should be in the UFC if Strikeforce folds.

The money will be good, but after Jan. 12, Lorenz Larkin might be wishing he didn’t have a fight afterall.

The Strikeforce middleweight contender will face the dangerous submission artist Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

A frustrated Larkin, of course, accused Rockhold of ducking him, so now he gets a guy in Souza is almost equally as dangerous.

Pat Healy will get a payday when he fights Jorge Masdival, but it’s a bittersweet consulation prize to being on the verge twice of a title shot against Melendez.

Yes, the final Strikeforce show feels a lot like a black fly in your chardonnay. Something that was once good, is now stained.

Fans will just have to swallow it and move on.



posted by JoshuaM @ 2:19 pm
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