With the Strikeforce doors preparing to close for good, fans of the San Jose-based organization have one final event before saying goodbye to an organization that has had many memorable fight cards over the last seven years.
However, after purging their roster and sending many top talents over to the UFC, Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine is perhaps the most lopsided card in MMA history.
Taking a look at the betting odds (courtesy of bovada.lv), we can see just how predictable this card is in the eyes of the oddsmakers.
In the main event, welterweight champion Nate Marquardt is a 3:1 favorite against challenger Tarec Saffiedine. However, many would argue that this line is giving Saffiedine too much credit against a better-trained, more seasoned opponent.
And 3:1 is the closest betting line anywhere near the top of the card.
Some of the more one-sided fights include:
Roger Gracie (-325) over Anthony Smith (+250)
Ronaldo Souza (-400) over Ed Herman (+300)
Tim Kennedy (-450) over Trevor Smith (+325)
Pat Healy (-500) over Kurt Holobaugh (+350)
Gegard Mousasi (-500) over Mike Kyle (+350)
Josh Barnett (-1600) over Nandor Guelmino (+800)
Daniel Cormier (-2000) over Dion Staring (+900)
For anyone who doesn't understand betting lines, they show your probability of victory. For example, Ronaldo Souza's -400 betting line represents an 80 percent chance of success, as he is a 4:1 favorite.
It's understandable that Strikeforce isn't exactly in a position to put on high-level bouts of a competitive nature. But it is still fairly disappointing to see that the final card in organizational history has six fights where the betting favorite has an 80 percent or better chance of winning.
Perhaps the most disgusting mismatches come in the heavyweight contests.
Both Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier are world-ranked fighters who deserve opponents that can test them inside the cage. However, each man will meet fighters who have never competed in a major organization.
Barnett meets Nandor Guelmino. To no one's surprise, the former UFC champion is a 16:1 favorite over the guy whose name I've had to look up five times since starting this article. It will likely be a one-sided grapple fest where Barnett ragdolls his opponent before scoring a quick submission.
If that isn't enough, the evening's co-main event has Daniel Cormier as a 20:1 favorite against Dion Staring.
After winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, Cormier was expected to meet former UFC champion Frank Mir. Instead, he is given a 95.2 percent chance of victory against yet another heavyweight who you likely couldn't pick out of a lineup.
Perhaps the well-timed injuries of Luke Rockhold, Gilbert Melendez and Jorge Masvidal watered down this event. However, other than Pat Healy, no fighter who is still on the card was affected by those dropouts.
At the final card in Strikeforce history, fans of the promotion deserve more than this lopsided night of predictable outcomes. However, at least we can look forward to a night of likely stoppage wins to put an exclamation point at the end of Strikeforce's final chapter.
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