Strikeforce card announced; Rousey to UFC?
November 8, 2012
Strikeforce announced that it will hold a card January 12th in Oklahoma City which will feature all of the Strikeforce champs in the men’s division. There is also a rumor that Ronda Rousey is officially a member of the UFC roster.
The announced matches via Strikeforce Press Release:
• Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez (champion) vs. Pat Healy for the STRIKEFORCE lightweight title
• Luke Rockhold (champion) vs. Lorenz Larkin for the STRIKEFORCE middleweight title
• Nate Marquardt (champion) vs. Tarec Saffiedine for the STRIKEFORCE welterweight title
• Daniel Cormier (Grand Prix champion, OSU All-American) vs. Dion Staring
“We’ve built an absolutely stacked card for Oklahoma City and the SHOWTIME viewers,” STRIKEFORCE CEO Scott Coker said. “We have three awesome title fights featuring some of the best fighters to ever grace the STRIKEFORCE cage. Plus, we have Daniel Cormier, one of the fastest-rising heavyweight stars today, returning to his roots in Oklahoma to fight Dion Staring. January 12 is going to be a really special night.”
While Melendez, Rockhold, Marquardt and Cormier will all fight on the card. Strikeforce’s only recognized women’s champion, Ronda Rousey, may have moved on.
TMZ reports that Rousey is the first female to sign with the UFC. The news would not be surprising considering Dana White hinting to media recently that he had changed his mind about women’s MMA due in large part to Rousey. The armbar specialist was featured in this week’s Sports Illustrated.
With Rousey left off this card (for now), the speculation that she is now a member of the UFC makes sense and a fight with Cyborg Santos could be the first women’s MMA match in the UFC. Undoubtedly, that fight would be the co-main event of its Memorial Day or July 4th weekend card.
No confirmation on whether this will be the last card for Strikeforce and I don’t expect an announcement until we get closer to the date. The January show may be a way to fulfill the cancellation of its last show and not a new contract for 2013. If Strikeforce were to cease operations after the January card, it would leave many Strikeforce fighters looking for work. The UFC could sign most of these fighters considering the need to find fighters for the growing number of events around the world and quality replacements for the inevitable injury.