Tarec Saffiedine: Strikeforce Welterweight Title Win Bittersweet as Promotion Closes



Following his performance Saturday night, Tarec Saffiedine will forever be known as the final Strikeforce welterweight champion.

The “Sponge” lifted the belt from UFC veteran Nate Marquardt in the titular main event of Strikeforce “Marquardt vs. Saffiedine” at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, snatching a unanimous decision to become the first Belgian to win a world title under the Zuffa umbrella.

“I have no words. It’s been a long time, and I’ve been working so hard in my country and training in the U.S,” Saffiedine told Showtime Sports after his win. “Hard work pays off, I guess. It’s a dream come true.”

Though the triumph marks the highlight of Saffiedine’s career to date, the 26-year-old revealed the victory to be bittersweet due to the win coming at Strikeforce’s final event.

“I guess [the belt] is mine now, but unfortunately, Strikeforce is gone, and I’m really sad about that,” said Saffiedine. “It’s a great night for me, but it’s a sad night at the same time.”

Saffiedine wore Marquardt down over their 25 minutes of combat, continually punishing the former King of Pancrase’s quadriceps with chopping leg kicks, causing Marquardt’s thigh to swell and discolor.

“I think [I knew I had control] when he started to feel my leg kicks,” said Saffiedine. “I could see that he was hurt. He couldn’t move as much as he wanted to, and I saw that I had the fight.”

Despite entering the cage as the smaller man, Saffiedine also held his own with Marquardt in the clinch, continually stifling the favorite’s takedown attempts before finally scoring with a slam of his own to seal the judges’ verdict in the fifth round.

“When you train with Dan Henderson -- it’s hard to feel like somebody is stronger than that guy. Dan has helped me so much, and it’s kind of hard [for someone else] to put that same type of pressure [on me in the cage],” said Saffiedine. “I’ve been working so hard on my wrestling, and Nate is such a great wrestler and well-rounded fighter. It felt amazing.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 21 days ago
  • 3 views

UFC Fight Night 60 hits Broomfield, Colorado, on Saturday with a welterweight showcase main event. Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson comes in on short notice and moves up a weight clas read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 3 views

With a win at Friday night's Legacy FC 38, Steven Peterson is calling for a title shot... or a call from the UFC. read news >>

  • 19 days ago
  • 9 views

Win or lose on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 60 in Broomfield, Colorado, Benson "Smooth" Henderson is an absolute warrior. The former lightweight champion is making a rather hasty jump up to 170 read news >>

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 views

Max Holloway extended his win streak on Saturday, defeating Cole Miller in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 60 in Broomfield, Colo. read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 13 views

On Saturday night, everyone was talking about the great performance of Benson Henderson, overcoming a major size deficiency at welterweight and putting away Brandon Thatch. But now he's faced with a read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 2 views

At UFC Fight Night 60 on Saturday, Benson Henderson picked up a submission win over Brandon Thatch in his UFC welterweight debut. The former lightweight champion made the move up in weight despite co read news >>

  • 10 days ago
  • 0 views

Frank Mir, Sam Alvey, Matt Dwyer, and Marion Reneau win the performance bonuses for Fight Night Porto Alegre. read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

GLORY is back in action on Feb. 6, 2015, with GLORY 19 from Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va., airing live on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET. Once again, the GLORY staple -- a one-night tournament -- will be f read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Benson Henderson’s decision to move up in weight from lightweight, where he’d captured the UFC championship, to welterweight on short notice to face Brandon Thatch at UFC Fight Night 60 was a surpris read news >>