Fans, fighters and UFC president Dana White have been vocal about the path Strikeforce went that leads to their upcoming conclusion. In 2012, between January and August, Strikeforce held five shows. Those were the final shows of the year as the September and November ones were cancelled due to injuries.
This weekend’s show will be the final one for the promotion that has been hosting kickboxing events since 1985 and MMA since 2006. Strikeforce was considered by some as the No. 2 MMA promotion until Zuffa, the UFC’s parent company, purchased their competition in early 2011.
For Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, nearly three decades of work comes to an end this Saturday.
“I think this is a good way to close the chapter, and it’s something that I’m going to celebrate,” said Coker to USA TODAY. “I’ve been in the fight business 27 years. That’s a long time, a long run and I’m going to celebrate this.”
Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine will be the 63rd and final show put on. There will be five main card fights and six preliminary ones. The main event will see Nate Marquardt (30-10-2) make his first and only welterweight title defense against Tarec Saffiedine (13-3). The co-main event features Daniel Cormier (10-0) vs. Dion Staring (28-7).
Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (21-2) and middleweight champion Luke Rockhold (10-1) were set to defend their titles, but both pulled out due to previous injuries that never fully healed.
Showtime airs the main card and Showtime Extreme the preliminary fights. The final event concludes from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK this Saturday, January 12. FightLine will have complete coverage.