Saffiedine, Kennedy and Mousasi Among Strikeforce Fighters Heading to the UFC

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst IJanuary 15, 2013

Jan 12, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Nate Marquardt (black shorts) and Tarec Saffiedine (red and black shorts) in their Strikeforce MMA Welterweight Title bout at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

After the demise of Strikeforce on Saturday, fight fans were left to sit and wonder which fighters (aside from the champions) would make their way to the UFC. 

As Yahoo! Sports reported, UFC on FOX 7 in April will feature Gilbert Melendez vs. Benson Henderson for the UFC lightweight title and Frank Mir against Daniel Cormier in a high-profile heavyweight clash. 

Melendez and Cormier are two of the most recognizable names in Strikeforce, being the last reigning lightweight champion and heavyweight grand prix winner, respectively. 

On Tuesday night's edition of UFC Tonight, a comprehensive list of all the fighters making it to the big time were announced. MMA Weekly transcribed the report.

The lightweight division, a UFC weight class already rich in talent, will import seven Strikeforce fighters.

The new 155-pounders, counting Melendez, are Josh Thompson, Ryan Couture, KJ Noons, Pat Healy, Adriano Martins and Kurt Holobaugh. 

After suffering his first career loss to Healy at the Strikeforce finale Saturday, Holobaugh has announced he will be dropping to featherweight

In another pretty expected move, the final Strikeforce welterweight champion, Tarec Saffiedine, earned a UFC contract with his victory over Nate Marquardt. 

Marquardt, a former UFC middleweight title challenger, will get a second chance inside the Octagon despite his loss to Saffiedine. Roger Bowling, Jason High and Bobby Voelker also join the welterweight ranks. 

The handful of former Strikeforce middleweights signed all have a chance to crack the division's top 10, with last reigning champion Luke Rockhold, Ronaldo Souza, Tim Kennedy, Roger Gracie and Lorenz Larkin joining the big show. 

Finally, the light heavyweight division will welcome the arrival of an instant contender in the form of Gegard Mousasi. Gian Villante will also be added to the UFC's 205-pound division.

One competitor conspicuously absent from the list is former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, but the report notes that this list is not final and more fighters could be signed at any time. 

Which Strikeforce fighters deserve the chance to shine inside the Octagon, and which fighters just lucked out?