Luke Rockhold vs. Lorenz Larkin
Lorenz Larkin deserves a shot at the belt. He may only have one fight at 185, but he’s undefeated none the less. Larkin took on Robbie Lawler who is always tough, and was able to beat him standing through three rounds. Rockhold may want to fight Jacare again, but he needs a win or two more to be a viable contender.
Tim Kennedy vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Kennedy did decent in this bout, but is 0-2 in title fights. He will not be getting anywhere near the title for a long time to come, unless he drops down in weight. Kennedy is a big fighter, but he still looked a lot smaller than Rockhold. If he was to lose some muscle, he could make the drop to 170, and a match against Tarec would put him within reach of the title.
Nate Marquardt vs. Jason High
Jason High may not be the biggest name in Strikeforce, but he has proven to be a top tier fighter. His only losses have come to people that have been in the best organizations in the world, and he is currently riding a three fight win streak. With no one else really to challenge the newly crowned champ, a match with Jason will give the company some time to produce more contenders.
Tyron Woodley vs. Quinn Mulhern
Woodley didn’t do too bad in the title fight, but he’s still young in his career. Quinn lost his first fight in Strikeforce, but has won three straight since then, and now deserves a step up in competition. A match with Woodley would most undoubtedly test Mulhern’s skills. If he is able to beat Tyron he may be within a fight from the title.
Roger Gracie vs. Lumumba Sayers
Gracie did well in his fight against Jardine, but make no mistakes about it, Jardine has been over the hill for a while. Lumumba is 2-1 in Strikeforce, and is relatively young in his MMA career as well. He’s more of a ground guy like Gracie, but has power in his hands too. Either way a win pushes them each closer to being a true contender.
Pat Healy vs. Gilbert Melendez
Pat Healy may not be the most fun guy to watch, but winning gets results. At the end of the day, no one wants to see another match between Josh Thompson and Melenedez no matter how entertaining they are. Melendez deserves to fight other people, and Healy deserves his shot. Plus, Healy’s grinding style will be a good test for Melendez before he makes it into the UFC.
Ryan Couture vs. K.J. Noons
Couture has been doing well in his young career, but will soon be pushed faster to the top of the division. The ability to have another Couture in a title fight is almost a sure top rating. K.J. has not been doing well as of late going 1-3 in his last fight, but is still a former title challenger. A win over him would do wonders for Ryan’s ascent to the top. Also, going against an accomplished striker like Noons will answer some questions about Ryan’s ability to take a punch.
Jorge Masvidal vs. Josh Thompson
Masvidal has continued to become more of an MMA fighter from the street brawler he once was. He may have lost his fight against Gilbert Melendez, but that doesn’t mean he cannot get another one. Both of these fighters think they did well against Melendez, and they both think they deserve another shot. No better way to see who deserves it more than to make the two fight each other.