This Saturday, Strikeforce will hold their first event of the new year, which takes place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
A main-event battle between champion Luke Rockhold and Keith Jardine eclipses the event; however, there are several bouts on the card that have equal importance and should be given the respect they deserve.
Lawler has been on the decline since entering the Strikeforce cage.
The UFC vet has gone 2-4 whilst with the San Jose-based promotion, though, knockout victories over Melvin Manhoef and Matt Lindland have shown glimpses of what he is capable of at any given moment.
In his way is top prospect Adlan Amagov, who is 2-0 in Strikeforce and with a victory over the former title challenger, the Russian will move up the ranks quickly.
The welterweight division in Strikeforce is frustrating to watch, as all notable talent is virtually non-existent, save for Tarec Saffiedine.
The Team Quest fighter is 4-1 with Strikeforce and recently bounced back from a decision loss to Tyron Woodley when he dominated former UFC star Scott Smith, rocking the heavy hitter on several occasions before coasting to a decision win.
Saffiedine will meet Tyler Stinson, a heavy-handed striker who owns 15 of his career 22 wins by knockout.
Finally, Woodley will earn his shot at the vacant title with a victory in his battle with Jordan Mein.
Though pitting two of the promotion's top contenders in a very shallow welterweight field is questionable, it should be a good bout against two well-rounded fighters, nonetheless.
In the promotion's most talent-laden field, light heavyweight standout Lorenz Larkin will take the biggest step in his career when he takes on former world champion Muhammed Lawal.
King Mo recently returned from an extended layoff, when he knocked out submission specialist Roger Gracie, who was undefeated before the decisive loss to Lawal.
Larkin is looking to keep his "O" intact when he meets Lawal this Saturday, where the wily striker will look to be the only the second man to defeat Mo.
The winner will likely earn a shot at the vacant title, where Gegard Mousasi waits in the wings.
The headlining act is equally important for both men.
Jardine is coming down to the middleweight class for the first time in his career after entering the mixed martial arts realm as a heavyweight.
The former UFC contender will be taking on Luke Rockhold for his 185-pound title.
Though the AKA product earned a fan-friendly victory over Ronaldo Souza in his last outing, he is still largely unrecognized by the mainstream, though, a decisive win over a name like Jardine will go a long way in helping cultivate Rockhold's legacy as a top 10-worthy fighter.