Some of Strikeforce's most recognizable fighters will be competing in the upcoming heavyweight tournament. However, another distinguishable Strikeforce fighter, welterweight Nick Diaz, will obviously not be participating.
If promoted well, a Strikeforce Welterweight Grand Prix could give Diaz a bigger platform to display his talent. Let's take a look at how Strikeforce could put together a tournament for the welterweight division.
With two consecutive title defenses, Nick Diaz would be the clear-cut top seed in this tournament. The problem is that there aren't many intriguing or competitive opponents left for Diaz to fight in Strikeforce.
K.J. Noons is coming off of a loss against Diaz, but is also the last fighter to defeat the current Strikeforce welterweight champion. Considering he has had more success at lightweight in his career, Noons may be hesitant to join a welterweight tournament. A rubber match with Diaz in the first round might give Noons the incentive to accept, though.
Paul Daley could become a nightmare for the UFC if he becomes a dominant champion in another promotion. Strikeforce would certainly want a matchup between Nick Diaz and Daley in the finals, so Daley would likely meet a very beatable first round opponent.
Tarec Saffiedine wouldn't be a pushover for Daley, but he would be about as easy a first round opponent as a fighter could get in this tournament. Saffiedine is coming off of a decision loss to up-and-coming Tyron Woodley. Prior to the loss, Saffiedine was on a three-fight win streak, so he is deserving of a spot in this tournament.
Recently, Evangelista Santos was unsuccessful in challenging Nick Diaz for the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship. Still, Santos is one of the more dangerous welterweights in Strikeforce's organization, which kind of shows why this tournament is purely fantasy at this point.
Former UFC fighter Jason High recently signed with Strikeforce. High is currently on a four-fight winning streak, which includes a decision victory over Hayato Sakurai. A UFC castoff, High's probable inclusion in this tournament is another reason why Strikeforce would need to beef up their welterweight roster before this could become reality.
DREAM Welterweight Champion Marius Zaromskis would be a likely inclusion in a Strikeforce Welterweight Grand Prix. Although Zaromskis was finished in the first round by both Nick Diaz and Evangelista Santos, he would still be a threat to win a fight or two in this tournament.
A rising star in the organization, Tyron Woodley would likely be given a favorable first round matchup. Since it would be hard for Strikeforce to justify making Woodley one of the top four seeds because of the competition he has faced, Woodley would probably fight the weakest of the higher seeds, which would clearly be Zaromskis.
Sean Smith has been a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA since October 2010. For the latest insight and updates on everything MMA, you can follow Sean on Twitter @BR_Sean_Smith.