Despite Losses of Rockhold and Melendez, Final Strikeforce Card Remains Solid

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2012

May 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Daniel Cormier poses with the championship belt 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

The card that was dubbed Strikeforce: Champions recently lost some of its sparkle because of the injuries suffered by lightweight and middleweight champs Gilbert Melendez and Luke Rockhold.

The final card was supposed to see all of the champions defend their titles, but that is no more. Only Nate Marquardt, the now-headlining welterweight kingpin, remains defending his title on the card.

Despite the outcry of some of MMA's fans to scrap the card due to the loss of two championship fights, I guarantee that this last Strikeforce card is going to be great. Therefore, I, like many of you should be, am looking forward to the last Strikeforce card.

Sure, two of the biggest stars of the company are no longer physically involved, but that shouldn't deter the fact that there are still great fights ready to be watched.

Marquardt headlines against noted striker and exciting Belgian, Tarec Saffiedine. With these two possessing great kickboxing skills, the headliner should be nothing short of a barn burner.

Then, rising star Daniel Cormier is still on the card. Though he is not facing anybody that is top-10 caliber, Dion Staring definitely provides an interesting challenge to Cormier, as he has good striking and speed.

Gegard Mousasi is also on the card, making his long-awaited return from injury hiatus. He takes on a man who has been linked to him several times in Mike Kyle.

That fight should be nothing short of amazing, as both men have great striking skills. Mousasi holds the distinct advantage of the ground game.

Plus, look at the number of former title challengers on the card. KJ Noons, Jorge Masvidal and Tim Kennedy, as well as former 185-lb. champ Ronaldo Souza will all be fighting.

Lorenz Larkin and Pat Healy, two men who were supposed to be fighting on the card, have drawn new opponents for the event. Larkin meets Souza in the biggest fight of his career, while Healy looks to continue his recent dominance in a meeting with Masvidal .

World-class heavyweight Josh Barnett also will fulfill the his last fight with Strikeforce when he meets European prospect Nandor Guelmino. Barnett has a huge fanbase and will give a great grappling display if the fight goes down.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that jiu-jitsu ace Roger Gracie will make another MMA appearance on the card. Roger meets the underrated Anthony Smith in an intriguing matchup on the undercard.

If you think that this last Strikeforce card is a waste of time, you are way wrong. If you miss this card, you will truly be sorry.