If you were expecting a one sided fight in the Strikeforce: Marquardt Vs Saffiedine main event, it would be smart to guess it would be Nate Marquardt running the table. The exact opposite happened in the main event of the final Strikeforce card in history. Tarec Saffiedine routed Marquardt in a unanimous decision win to become the new/last Strikeforce Champion (48-47, 49-46 x2).
Saffiedine came out early in the bout bring the forward pressure directly to Marquardt, and while they both felt each other out in the first few minutes, it was Saffiedine who began the leg strikes early. Early in the fight, no one knew how important the low kick would be later in the fight. By the fifth round Saffiedine had reduced Marquardt’s left leg to a multi-color lumped up mess. The stats tell the story in this fight. Saffiedine landed 116 of 201 significant strikes (58%), and 164 of 251 total strikes for total strikes. Marquardt only landed 33% of the 205 he threw.
Many argued that Saffiedine was the inferior grappler in the fight, but it was Marquardt who was left befuddled when he couldn’t get the fight to the ground, or contain Saffiedine on the fence. Saffiedine grappled Marquardt on HIS terms, and forced Marquardt to scramble when ever he got the slightest edge.
This is how the curtain dropped for the final fight in Strikeforce history, Tarec Saffiedine becomes the first MMA champion to come from Belgium.