With Bellator and the UFC preparing for their 2013 debuts in the second half of January, the next couple of weeks will see the MMA world focus on the all women INVICTA card scheduled for January 5th in Kansas City, and the January 12th final STRIKEFORCE card. With a Strawweight (115 lb) title fight between Carla Esparza and Bec Hyatt at INVICTA and a full twelve fight card, INVICTA will likely be the more intriguing show for MMA fans. With a card called ‘Marquardt vs Saffiedine’ after previously being called ‘Champions’ the whole SF card has a ‘dead man walking’ type of feel.
The STRIKEFORCE card does feature Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier, two heavyweights that are sure to have an impact on the UFC’s roster once they get thru these bouts. The problem is they are facing Nandor Guelmino and Dion Staring respectively, both of whom are European fill ins who have never faced an opponent near the level of what they will face. These are squash matches, and the odds will likely make the fights not worth betting, unless you have a huge tickle for a massive underdog in the euro trash.
The title fight is more competitive, with Nathan Marquardt defending his 170 lb belt against Tarec Saffiedine. Marquardt will come in as the favorite, and it will be interesting to see how the UFC brings Marquardt back as a welterweight, where he will be big and dangerous and a near instant contender. Heck, Dana gave Rousey a belt from the UFC for her SF strap, why not just give Marquardt a ‘interim’ belt?
Ed Herman facing Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ and Gegard Mousasi taking on Mike Kyle will both be bouts worth watching, and all four fighters are UFC material. Overall not a bad show, the criticism is that SF dies not delivering what they promised, as usual.
Delivering above expectations is INVICTA. Their strawweight title showdown suffered a blow when undefeated Brazilian star Claudia Gadehla was forced to pull out due to an injury, but they didn’t cancel the show, or give away the title, they made another title fight. Carla Esparza will be favored against replacement Bec Hyatt, who has 5 MMA bouts to her credit. One more match and she might have been eligible for a Dana White belt giveaway.
The main reason to watch INVICTA will be to prove the UFC wrong in their mindless pursuit and build up of a star in Rousey. White has said there is not enough talent among the women, and he is wrong. INVICTA proves it.
Check out http://invictafc.com/ for more details and to watch the card!