This Saturday, Strikeforce will hold its first event of the year as middleweight champion Luke Rockhold takes on former UFC contender Keith Jardine in the main event of the evening.
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will play host to the event, which features a bevy of fan-friendly battles. Despite all the talent that the card boasts, there exist several fighters who could find themselves on the chopping block should they turn in a lackluster performance.
The New Yorker started off his career with Strikeforce in an entertaining, back-and-forth battle with the game Chad Griggs, though Villante subsequently suffered a knockout loss inside of the first round.
Following the first decisive defeat of his career, Villante was then outgunned by the wily Lorenz Larkin, who outpointed the former collegiate wrestler, taking home a clear-cut decision win.
Villante saved his career with the organization when he picked up a decision victory over Keith Berry last August, though should the Bellmore kickboxing product suffer a defeat this Saturday at the hands of Trevor Smith, that would leave Villante with a subpar 1-3 record with the promotion, likely signaling his release in the process.
A former three-time world champion, fan favorite Robbie Lawler has had a largely unsuccessful run inside the Hexagon.
The "Ruthless" one has gone 2-4 in the San Jose-based promotion, picking up impressive knockout victories over K-1 star Melvin Manhoef and former UFC title challenger Matt Lindland, though losses to Jake Shields, Renato Sobral, Ronaldo Souza and Tim Kennedy have largely clouded those accomplishments.
Should the heavy-handed Lawler suffer another setback in his next outing against young up-and-comer Adlan Amagov, expect to see the former Miletich star plugging away on the regional circuit for the time being.
After exiting the UFC in June of 2010 on the heels of a four-fight skid, Jardine went 2-1 on the regional circuit before being called back to the big show, taking on former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi last April.
"The Dean of Mean" battled the Armenian to a controversial draw, but many believed that Mousasi should have been declared the rightful winner.
Now, after the lackluster performance, Jardine will fill in for an injured teammate in Tim Kennedy when he takes on 185-pound champion Luke Rockhold.
Should Jardine come out on the losing end, you can anticipate that the Greg Jackson fighter will look to rebuild his career all over again.