Strikeforce officially came to a close on Saturday night, and it really was a storybook ending with one of the fighters who had been with the promotion for the past three years walking away with the title in the organization’s final fight ever.

It was four years ago that a 22-year old kid from Belgium moved to the United States with a dream of becoming a champion, and Tarec Saffiedine saw those dreams become reality as he battered and bested Nate Marquardt to win the last ever Strikeforce title.

Training at Team Quest since arriving in the States, Saffiedine first came to Strikeforce as part of their developmental series called Strikeforce Challengers before working his way to the main cards on Showtime more than a year and a half later.

So with Strikeforce on its way out, Saffiedine got the title shot he had longed for as he faced former UFC middleweight contender Nate Marquardt in the main event on Saturday night.

Coming into the fight, Saffiedine was a decided underdog, but he certainly didn’t perform that way and came after Marquardt with sheer determination from the opening bell.

A kickboxer by trade, Saffiedine showed off his skills as he cracked Marquardt early with a quick strike that dropped the former UFC contender, setting the stage for what was about to happen for the entire 25-minute fight.

Saffiedine unloaded a barrage of leg kicks on Marquardt that made his leg as many different colors as on a painter’s palette. Time and time again, Saffiedine swung his leg, blasting Marquardt’s unguarded thigh and with each one landed the Colorado native slowed down just a little bit more.

“I’ve been training so hard, for so long, and my kicks are one of my best weapons. I trained them a lot in training, so that was kind of the game plan,” Saffiedine said about the leg kicks.

As the rounds wore on, Marquardt’s cardio started to backfire as well and with his mouth gaped open begging for oxygen, his last ditch effort to head to the UFC later this year on a win faded away.

Saffiedine only gained strength when seeing Marquardt fading, and continued to attack his leg with kick after kick until it was a bruised and beaten mess.

The final horn sounded and Tarec Saffiedine knew that he had just captured the gold he longed for so long to hold.

“It’s unbelievable. I can’t imagine I’m wearing the belt right now, it’s unreal,” Saffiedine said after winning the unanimous decision. “I want to thank Strikeforce for being by my side for so long.”

Just a few days ago, Tarec Saffiedine wasn’t even sure he’d be in the UFC after tonight, but with his win over Nate Marquardt in impressive fashion he’s punched his ticket and given himself a lot of momentum as he heads into the welterweight division later this year.

There’s also a cloud of disappointment overhead for Nate Marquardt, who was talked about all week as a legitimate contender at 170lbs with conversations already putting him in the race for a title shot once he arrived in the UFC. Now with this loss, Marquardt will need to regroup and recover before trying to find his footing in one of the toughest weight classes in the UFC.

(photo by Ester Lin/Strikeforce/Showtime)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

'Ronaldo' Souza undergoes knee surgery; wants title shot or Luke Rockhold next

  • 6 days ago
  • 7 views

Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza is healing up after knee surgery. The former Strikeforce middleweight champion recently underwent the procedure to repair damage done to his left meniscus in his quick win over read news >>

Shooto Brazil 54 to air live on UFC Fight Pass this Sunday

  • 14 days ago
  • 6 views

Shooto Brazil 54 will in fact air live this Sunday evening on UFC Fight Pass. It was officially announced on Wednesday that the entire 12-fight card will air live on the UFC's subscription-based stre read news >>

MMAjunkie Radio (noon ET): UFC-PRIDE-Strikeforce-ONE Championship-Bellator vet Phil Baroni

  • 14 days ago
  • 0 views

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off at noon ET with in-studio co-host Phil Baroni, who will co-host the show in the studio at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.Filed under: Bellator, MMAjunkie Radio, News read news >>

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao gate officially tops 72 million dollars

  • 14 days ago
  • 1 views

The Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight blew away the Nevada gate record, topping 72 million dollars. As expected, the gate for the "Fight of the Century" was astronomical. May 2nd's Floyd Mayw read news >>

Ronda Rousey makes the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine

  • 15 days ago
  • 6 views

UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has officially made the cover of the May 18th edition of Sports Illustrated magazine. The news was announced Tuesday by Sports Illustrated as well as th read news >>

Adlan Amagov officially announces retirement from MMA competition

  • 16 days ago
  • 74 views

UFC welterweight Adlan Amagov has officially announced his retirement from professional sports, including mixed martial arts competition. For months, the reasons for Adlan Amagov's extended absence f read news >>

The MMA Beat on Jon Jones, Rebook compensation terms, Hall of Fame

  • 18 days ago
  • 88 views

On the latest edition of the 'MMA Beat,'the panelists discuss the officially announced compensation terms for the Reebok deal, the revamped Hall of Fame, and the latest on Jon Jones. read news >>

UFC and Strikeforce Veteran Benji Radach Returns at Bellator 137

  • 19 days ago
  • 0 views

After nearly five years on the inactive list, MMA veteran Benji Radach is returning to the cage. read news >>

With Ryan Bader removed, Dan Henderson vs. Tim Boetsch headlines UFC Fight Night 68

  • 22 days ago
  • 18 views

Ryan Bader has officially been removed from UFC Fight Night 68 on June 6 and originally scheduled co-main event between Dan Henderson and Tim Boetsch has been promoted to the top of the card. Filed u read news >>