Strikeforce 'Fedor vs Henderson' fight card: Robbie Lawler vs Tim Kennedy on the outside looking in

When UFC purchased Strikeforce, it was easy to see how much potential this had to build stars through one organization and pass them on through to the other.

However, with Strikeforce maintaining its status quo as the lesser of the two promotions, this also creates the capacity for stagnation among possible stars that can't get over the hump.

When Robbie Lawler throws hands with Tim Kennedy tonight (July 30, 2011) at Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Henderson" on Showtime, they will provide the best example of this.

Both men are solid fighters with plenty of skill and a lot to offer in the way of marketability. Those are the pros. The major con? Both guys have already fought and lost to Middleweight Champion Ronaldo Souza.

Lawler, Kennedy -- welcome to No Man's Land.

True, the promotion isn't exactly loaded with talent at 185-pounds. But the very fact that two of the more well-known fighters in the division have definitely lost to the champion of the weight class doesn't bode well for future prospects.

Consensus opinion has Strikeforce merging with UFC sometime shortly after the contract with Showtime runs out, which is in 2012. If and when that happens, where will Lawler and Kennedy fit into the middleweight picture in the UFC?

Neither will be anywhere close to the top. Not by a long shot.

"Ruthless" Robbie will especially be feeling the pinch if he leaves Hoffman Estates with another loss. That would mark his second in a row and fourth in his last seven fights.

Exciting or not, those kind of statistics won't cut the mustard.

Kennedy is in a far better position, having lost just once in his last six bouts. However, it was rather telling that his repeated calls to UFC to let him in to fight Michael Bisping were not only unanswered, they largely went ignored altogether.

Does that mean interest is low? Yes; it most certainly does.

But tonight is the night he can make a considerable leap forward and make himself a star by turning in a dominant performance against a fighter whose style should play right into his hands.

If he doesn't, he'll really be on the outside looking in.

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