The ruin of a once-proud best, heart and soul stamped out, slouches toward the finish line, powered not by any real drive, but by a yearning for the oblivion its destination will bring.
I am, of course, talking about Strikeforce: "Marquardt vs. Saffiedine," which takes places this Saturday night (Jan. 12, 2013) at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., airing live on Showtime.
With more dropouts than an experimental community college/brewery/hemp plantation megaplex, what was intended as a thunderous last hurrah has been reduced to a sad specter of itself. The event will be headlined by a welterweight title match between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran Nate Marquardt and Team Quest's Tarec Saffiedine, with the rest of the main card filled with big names, but bad mismatches.
It's a disheartening sight, but you can take comfort in the fact that there's money to be made amidst the detritus.
Follow me below for a closer look at the odds behind Strikeforce: "Marquardt vs. Saffiedine:"
Strikeforce Odds For The Under Card:
Estevan Payan (-130) vs. Michael Bravo (-110)
Adriano Martins (-280) vs. Jorge Gurgel (+200)
Tim Kennedy (-420) vs. Trevor Smith (+300)
Roger Gracie (-290) vs.Anthony Smith (-210)
Pat Healy (-505) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (+335)
K.J. Noons (-190) vs. Ryan Couture (+250)
Strikeforce Odds For The Main Card:
Ronaldo Souza (-425) vs. Ed Herman (+320)
Josh Barnett (-1525) vs. Nandor Guelmino (+850)
Gegard Mousasi (-450) vs.Mike Kyle (+330)
Daniel Cormier (-2000) vs. Dion Staring (+1100)
Nate Marquardt (-285) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (+225)
Thoughts: I wasn't being hyperbolic about the whole "mismatches" thing. I see only three fighters worth a bet: Martins, Couture and "Jacare."
You may not have heard of Martins, but he's arguably the top lightweight in Brazil, winning 10 of his last 11 with the sole loss a controversial split decision to UFC lightweight Francisco Trinaldo and one of those wins coming over Ronys Torres. While he's a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, he prefers to use his size (he's Gleison Tibau big) and power to beat down opponents with heavy hooks. Gurgel doesn't have the takedowns to bring it south, the power to faze Martins, or the technique to pick him apart.
Anything better than -300 is money in the bank; therefore, go big on Martins.
As impressive as scoring a technical knockout win over Nick Diaz looks on paper, I'm just not convinced Noons is that good. He's 1-3 in his last four and he barely scraped by Conor Heun. Couture isn't a world-beater either, but he's an effective grappler, which may be all you really need to take out Noons.
Go moderate on the prodigal son of Randy Couture.
Of the main card mismatches, only Mousasi and "Jacare" strike me as worth anything, but the Mousasi bet is complicated by his long layoff and Kyle's power. "Jacare," on the other hand, does pretty much everything better than Herman -- better striking, more power and world-class jiu-jitsu. He is going to tool Herman and, unlike Kyle, "Short Fuse" doesn't have any one-hit kill abilities that could throw a wrench into things.
Beef up your parlays with Souza.
Strikeforce 'Marquardt vs. Saffiedine' Best Bets:
- Parlay: Adriano Martins and Ronaldo Souza -- Bet $73 to make $50
- Parlay: Adriano Martins, Ronaldo Souza and Ryan Couture -- Bet $30 to make $96.60
It's time to close the curtain on another mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion. Historic circumstances worth watching even if all else fails.
See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live Strikeforce: "Marquardt vs. Saffiedine" results this Saturday night, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Hexagon one last time, as well as what you've got riding on the sportsbook.