Strikeforce Announces Cormier, Melendez, Marquardt, Rockhold for January Card

McKinley NobleCorrespondent INovember 8, 2012

May 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Daniel Cormier (right) poses with the Strikeforce chief executive officer Scott Coker (left) after defeating Josh Barnett (not pictured) during the heavyweight tournament final bout of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix at HP Pavilion.  Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Strikeforce is throwing three title fights and a heavyweight clash into the main card of their first 2013 show, which takes place on January 12 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

MMA Junkie broke the news today, revealing that the event will feature four of the biggest stars in the promotion. Earlier this morning, Nate Marquardt's first middleweight title defense against Tarec Saffiedine was leaked as one part of the main card.

With Strikeforce's announcement, here's how the lineup looks so far:

  • Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring (Heavyweight bout)
  • Luke Rockhold vs. Lorenz Larkin (Middleweight Championship)
  • Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine (Welterweight Championship)
  • Gilbert Melendez vs. Pat Healy (Lightweight Championship)

Most surprising is the reveal of Cormier's next opponent, Dion Staring—a relatively unknown Dutch heavyweight who trains with UFC title contender and former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem.

Staring is currently on a 9-1 run in his last 10 fights, with the majority of them taking place in the Netherlands. His most notable career opponents have been current UFC light heavyweight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Bellator veteran Damian Grabowski and international kickboxing champion Peter Graham.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker previously teased that women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey would also be featured on the card, but the No. 1 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter was not part of today's announcement.