Strikeforce: "Marquardt vs Saffiedine" Play-By-Play & ResultsStrikeforce staged its final mixed martial arts event tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Strikeforce: “Marquardt vs Saffiedine” was headlined by a Strikeforce Welterweight Championship bout between Nate “The Great” Marquardt and Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine.

Also on the card tonight, Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier faced off against Dion “The Soldier” Staring. Grand prix runner-up Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett faced Austria’s Nandor “The Hun” Guelmino. has live play-by-play for the final Strikeforce event.


Strikeforce Welterweight Championship

Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine vs Nate “The Great” Marquardt

Round 1:
The opening round began with an exchange of leg kicks and occasional punches as the cautious fighters circled on the outside. Marquardt fell after a counterpunch from Saffiedine, but quickly stood and clinched. Saffiedine backed away and Marquardt just missed with a slashing elbow. More leg kicks were exchanged and Saffiedine countered a clinch with a knee and an elbow. More short knees were exchanged in the final minute. 10-9 Saffiedine.

Round 2:
Saffiedine landed a head kick in round two that forced Marquardt to dive for a takedown. Marquardt swept the leg and got Saffiedine down, but Saffiedine quickly returned to his feet. Marquardt threw knees to the body and the fighters battled in close until referee John McCarthy separated them. Saffiedine landed leg kicks and stuffed a takedown. Saffiedine landed counter right hands and a leg kick. Marquardt fell while attempting a flashy spinning back kick. Close round. 10-9 Saffiedine.

Round 3:
The fight returned to the clinch early in round three and Saffiedine landed knees while avoiding Marquardt’s attempts to take him down. A stalemate followed and Marquardt eventually broke away with the clinch with a short right hand. Saffiedine retreated, but regained his footing and landed a combination. Marquardt jabbed and Saffiedine kicked at his lead leg. More leg kicks scored for Saffiedine and Marquardt’s left leg began to swell up. Saffiedine sprawled to defend a takedown at the bell. 10-9 Saffiedine.

Round 4:
Saffiedine landed a knee in close to escape a clinch from Marquardt in round four. He resumed kicking at Marquardt’s leg and Marquardt staggered. He tried to flurry with punches, but Saffiedine landed more kicks. Marquardt was aggressive with punches until Saffiedine landed a hard leg kick. Marquardt eventually caught a kick, but lost his grip on Saffiedine’s leg. Saffiedine closed in with more kicks and punches. Marquardt began to bleed from above the right eye and Saffiedine scored with kicks in the final 30 seconds. 10-9 Saffiedine.

Round 5:
It was more of the same in round five and Saffiedine continued to land leg kicks. He switched it up with a Brazilian kick to the side of the head and the fighters clinched. Saffiedine broke away and continued to throw leg kicks. A nice right hand backed Marquardt up and Saffiedine landed a punch-kick combo soon after. Marquardt clinched and Saffiedine circled away. Saffiedine landed punches and leg kicks, then slammed Marquardt to the mat. He punched from the top until the final bell. 10-9 Saffiedine.

Winner: Tarec Saffiedine by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) after five rounds. He improves to 14-3-0 and becomes the new Strikeforce Welterweight Champion.


Daniel Cormier vs Dion “The Soldier” Staring

Round 1:
Cormier countered early right hands with a head kick. The fighters clinched and Cormier secured double underhooks and threw Staring to the mat. From side control, Cormier landed elbows until Staring scrambled back to his feet. Cormier rushed in with punches and took Staring down again. He landed elbows from side control and Staring escaped to his feet once more. Time was called to replace his mouthpiece. After the restart, Cormier took Staring down into mount and landed more punches and elbows. 10-9 Cormier, if not 10-8.

Round 2:
Cormier held Staring against the cage early in round two. He eventually backed away and landed jabs, then tripped Staring to the ground. Cormier punched from the top and Staring gave up his back. Cormier landed more punches and Staring rolled to his side. Cormier continued to batter Staring with punches until the lopsided fight was finally stopped.

Winner: Daniel Cormier by TKO (Punches) at 4:02 of round two. He improves to 11-0-0.


Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett vs Nandor “The Hun” Guelmino

Round 1:
Barnett took Guelmino down right away and worked from the top in Guelmino’s guard. Barnett attempted a leglock, but lost the position and Guelmino stood. Barnett took him back down and secured an arm-triangle choke from mount. Guelmino quickly tapped out.

Winner: Josh Barnett by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 2:11 of round one. He improves to 32-6-0.


Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi vs Mike “MAK” Kyle

Round 1:
After an exchange of punches, Mousasi took Kyle down near the cage and postured up in his guard with elbows and hammerfists. Kyle tried to scramble up, but gave up half-guard in the process. Mousasi moved to mount soon after and rained down some hard shots. Kyle rolled over to try to defend and Mousasi locked on a rear-naked choke. Kyle tapped out.

Winner: Gegard Mousasi by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 4:09 of round one. He improves to 33-3-2.


Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza vs Ed “Short Fuse” Herman

Round 1:
The fighters clinched against the cage briefly early on until Herman backed away. Souza shot in and took him down, but Herman spun for a heel hook. Time was called after Herman landed illegal upkicks. The fight resumed with an exchange of punches and Souza scored with a stiff jab and a knee. He followed with a front kick and took Herman down again. From side control, Souza locked on a far-side Kimura and wrenched back on the arm until Herman tapped out.

Winner: Ronaldo Souza by Submission (Kimura) at 3:10 of round one. He improves to 17-3-0, 1 NC.


Undercard Fights:

Ryan Couture defeated “King” K.J. Noons by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 27-30) after three rounds. He improves to 6-1-0 with the win.

Tim Kennedy defeated Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:36 of round three. He improves to 15-4-0 with the win.

Pat “Bam Bam” Healy defeated Kurt Holobaugh by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 29-16-0 with the win.

Roger Gracie defeated Anthony “Lionheart” Smith by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 3:16 of round two. He improves to 6-1-0 with the win.

Adriano Martins defeated Jorge “J.G.” Gurgel by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 24-6-0 with the win.

Estevan “El Terrible” Payan defeated Mike Bravo by TKO (Punches) at 4:01 of round two. He improves to 14-3-0, 1 NC with the win.