Fighters the UFC should send to Strikeforce

Now that it is known that Strikeforce will be in business for a while longer, one of the things that keeps coming up is the problems with the depth of the fighters in most divisions.

The UFC has the unique ability to persuade fighters to move over to Strikeforce for numerous reasons. Whether they want a fighter to develop over there, or a fighter has hit his ceilign in the UFC. Either way, both promotions could greatly benefit by doing this.

HW: Obviously, the Heavyweight division in Strikeforce is about to be non-existent.

Light Heavyweight: I think LHW will go the way of the Heavyweights pretty soon. The top fighters in the division (Mousasi, Lawal, Feijao) are head and shoulder's better then the guys below them. And there aren't very many prosepcts below them worth keeping the division around for.

  • Ryan Bader (Depending on if he wins vs. Rampage). Lets say he loses. That will make 3 loses in 4 fights, and his only win coming against Jason Brilz (who was recently cut). He's still young, but with Jon Jones reigning supreme, his chance at being a contender seems extremely slim.
  • Brandon Vera: Its clear that he isn't who we thought he was. But he's still a decent name fighter. Putting him in Strikeforce with a fight against Mousasi seems like a fight that could "bring back the old Vera". Plus, he barley beat Eliot Marshall, I doubt he's gonna beat many top 20 fighters in the UFC.
  • Vladimir Matyushenko: Like Bader, Vlad is a good fighter, who has the ability to be a top 15 fighter. But he's not very exciting, and he has been decimated by Jones and Lil' Nog.
  • Stephan Bonnar: He's 34 years old, so he doesn't have much time left. But he's on a 3 fight win streak, and while he probably won't fight for a title in Strikeforce, he's still a guy that can put on fights and be competitive against upper echelon fighters.
Middleweight: Although MW is incredibly shallow, the few guys who have been winning are young guys who have real potential to become great fighters. Luke Rockhold, Yancy Medeiros, and Derek Brunson are all tough guys, but have no real fighters to help build their resumes.
  • Rich Franklin: He's a guy who's all but done fighting for any type of contention. He's also fought at LHW recently. But its no secret that his real success has been at MW. Giving him an immediate title shot might be the only way to sway him to go over to Strikeforce, but a fight with him vs. Rockhold would definitely be interesting.
  • Yushin Okami: He went 10-2 in 5 years with the UFC before finally getting his title shot. Then he got Silva'd. Suffice it to say, he's not fighting for the UFC title anytime soon. He's probably the guy who has the most to gain from switching to Strikeforce. Luke Rockhold won the title and is now ranked #9 in the world. Imagine if Okami went on a run beating Rockhold, Lawlar and all the other guys being brought over.
  • Dan Miller: Who doesn't love Dan Miller? He's a really good fighter, but not great. He beats all the guys who don't belong, but he can't beat a upper echelon fighter. Why not give his career some breathing room? He's a guy who could really flourish in Strikeforce.
  • Eric Shafer / Steve Cantwell / CB Dollaway: all these guys are not elite UFC level fighters, but he's better then most guys on the regional circuit. Why not put them in Strikeforce and add a name for younger guys to test themselves against.
Welterweight: Welterweight is tough. GSP has been embarrassing fools, and with each win, one more person is knocked off of the block. So while guys like Koscheck, Shields and Alves are still great fighters, they are soo far away from fighting for a UFC title that it's hard not to look to them to move.
  • Martin Kampmann: A guy who could potentially be a long term champ in Strikeforce. He's recently lost to Diego Sanchez and Jake Shields, and I don't think there is anyone who really think's he's a treat to GSP. So why not send him to Strikeforce, and match him up with Tyron Woodly or Paul Daley for the title?
  • Dan Hardy: This is a win-win for the UFC. It gives Strikeforce a really popular fighter and a guy who can promote a fight pretty good. It also appeases critics who (rightfully so) argue that Hardy, who's on a 4 fight losing streak, doesn't belong in the UFC.
  • Yoshihiro Akiyama: It depends on his fight with Shields. If he wins (I don't think he will), he's ok. But if he loses, that makes 4 straight losses. He's still a good fighter, but just not as good as we thought. But, like Hardy, he's a fighter who is almost always exciting and someone fans like to watch fight.
  • DeMarques Johnson / Amir Sadollah / Matt Brown: A few guys who are good, exciting fighters, but will never make in near contention. These are the guys that Strikeforce could use to build up cards so that they don't have 5 great fights, then 5 fights with guys no one has ever heard of.
Lightweights: This is probably the hardest division for the UFC to send fighters from, because while this division is SOOO deep, so many of these fighters are young guys. But Zuffa needs to decide if they want to keep Strikeforce profitable and have some veterans come over and fight for Strikeforce, or if they want to keep the fighters in the UFC and have the LW division be a 1 man show.
  • Gray Maynard: Has fought the champ 3 times, and won't get a 4th shot anytime soon. But he's a guy who will probably beat 95% of the guys the UFC matches up with him. So if the UFC keeps him around, he becomes a bonafide Rich Franklin.. The consensus #2 fighter that can beat everyone, but the champ.
  • Kenny Florian: He will never get a title shot in the UFC again. He's a really good fighter, with an exciting style and a decent enough fan base. Send him down and give Melendez a real challenge, so Melendez does fight Pat Healy for the title next.
  • Sean Sherk: If he ever can make a comeback to the fight game, I think Strikeforce is the place he should land. He's old and injury prone, but he's still a legit fighter with real skills. But is there any real chance that he'll ever make a run into the top 15 in the UFC? No way.
  • Mac Danzig / Matt Wiman / Cole Miller: Like the other divisions above, these are guys who are exciting, pretty solid fighters, but will never make it into contention in the UFC. By sending them to Strikeforce, and mixing them in with the other prospects and fighters, it will help make the LW Division in Strikeforce become much deeper.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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