Muhammad "King Mo" Lawal, Robbie Lawler, Tyron Woodley and Luke Rockhold all recorded impressive victories in Strikeforce this past Saturday night. The next question for the four victorious fighters is, what's next?
Will King Mo fight for the vacant Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship? Will Rockhold defend his middleweight belt? Or do they want something more? Maybe a step up in competition?
Dana White reiterated Saturday night that Zuffa wants to keep Strikeforce intact. Their actions since Zuffa's acquisition of Strikeforce has sent mixed signals as to the validity of that statement.
Sending Nick Diaz and Alistair Overeem to the UFC suggests that the top fighters will all eventually progress to the UFC.
Keeping Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce suggests that maybe some of the top fighters will stay in Strikeforce after all.
Personally, I doubt that any of the top contenders will stay in Strikeforce for too long.
Why would Zuffa want MMA fans to wonder if the best fighter in the world at a certain weight class currently fights in Strikeforce when they have the power to settle it in the cage?
This isn't college football. We don't have to debate about the champions.
I believe that Strikeforce will someday be the minor leagues of MMA. Baseball has Triple-A, basketball has the NBA D-League and I believe that soon UFC's minor leagues will be Strikeforce.
Two of the top Strikeforce transfers, Nick Diaz and Alistair Overeem, had successful UFC debuts in which they each defeated former UFC champions.
Gilbert Melendez has publicly said on several occasions he wants the UFC belt. I believe that eventually Melendez and other worthy Strikeforce contenders will get their opportunities in the UFC.
But which current Strikeforce fighters are currently ready to make runs at UFC belts?
Here are 12 Strikeforce fighters who could possibly contend for UFC gold: