Tonight, live on Showtime, two of the brightest welterweight prospects in Strikeforce will collide, when Tarec "Sponge" Saffiedine meets Tyron Woodley at Strikeforce Challengers 13 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Saffiedine fights out of Team Quest in Temecula, California and boasts a 10-2 record. The "Sponge" is known for his unorthodox mixture of karate and judo. Since joining up with Team Quest, his wrestling has looked phenomenal, and all the fighters at the gym have stated how Saffiedine is a sponge.
Saffiedine has scored notable victories over the likes of former UFC/WEC fighter Brock Larson, James Terry and Japanese journeyman Seichi Ikemoto.
Opposite Saffiedine is Tyron Woodley, who trains out of American Top Team, is a two-time former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler at Missouri, and holds an unblemished record of 7-0.
Woodley is coming off of a devastating knockout win over DREAM veteran and highly decorated grappler Andre Galvao.
While this has been labeled an up-and-comer fight card, I believe both Saffiedine and Woodley have shown their amazing talents, and that Strikeforce has two welterweight gems.
I believe if this fight wasn't on a Challengers card, that these two could easily fight for no. 1 contender.
The Strikeforce welterweight division is currently thin right now and other than Paul Daley and Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, there aren't many contenders to face Diaz.
Will the winner of Saffiedine/Woodley be ready for the big time after this fight?
I can't see how he wouldn't be, as both fighters have shown tremendous potential and I believe that when the time comes Saffiedine or Woodley will be a solid challenger for Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz.