Strikeforce 'Overeem vs Werdum' fight card: Dark horse Jorge Masvidal looks to get in the title chase with win over K.J. Noons


Jorge Masvidal is perhaps best known for one spectacular submission loss rather than for any of his 21 professional mixed martial arts wins.

"Gamebread" was on the awkward end of a Toby Imada inverted triangle choke (see video here) in the inaugural Bellator lightweight tournament back in 2009, failing to meet eventual winner Eddie Alvarez in the final match. It was a major setback for the talented South Florida fighter, missing out on perhaps his breakthrough moment.

Two years and six fights later, he gets another bite at the apple when he takes on former Elite XC 160-pound champion, K.J. Noons, on the Strikeforce: "Overeem vs. Werdum" main card, which is scheduled to take place later this evening from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

However, not too many folks, including his hard-hitting counterpart, are giving him much of a chance to pull off the upset. In fact, "King" already has his sights set on division champion Gilbert Melendez.

That's a sign of major disrespect in the eyes of the proud Masvidal, who will likely do everything in his power to ensure that doesn't happen.

At 26 years young, Masvidal is at a major crossroads in his career. He's stuck in the mid-tier of the division, too good to beat up on scrubs on the regional circuit and not good enough to make a serious title run for a major promotion.

He can change that tonight with a win over Noons.

It's no secret that the winner of the bout between Masvidal and Noons will be in the proverbial lightweight "mix" of contenders to next challenge "El Nino." Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante and Justin Wilcox, who also fight tonight, are also under consideration.

The fact of the matter is that Melendez belongs on the UFC roster. It's only a matter of time before he switches sweaters. He's got one, maybe two fights, left under the Strikeforce banner, which means that time is of the essence for any potential challengers who want to make a statement prior to the imminent transition.

Those who fail to recognize that Masvidal could be that man might be in for a surprise in the next few hours, including "King" Karl. He's got the talent, he just needs (another) big break.

And not the kind that Noons is capable of delivering if given the chance.

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