It took all of three days for the UFC to announce the fighters they intend to carry over from Strikeforce. This leads me to ask a question: Too soon? Not if you’re one of the lucky few to receive an invitation to join the largest MMA promotion on the planet.
On Tuesday, Ariel Helwani announced those fighters making the transition from Strikeforce to the UFC on FUEL TV’s UFC Tonight:
Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier
Light Heavyweight: Gian Villante, Gegard Mousasi
Middleweight: Luke Rockhold, Ronaldo Souza, Time Kennedy, Roger Gracie, Lorenz Larkin
Welterweight: Nate Marquardt, Tarec Saffiedine, Roger Bowling, Jason High, Bobby Voelker
Lightweight: Gilbert Melendez, Josh Thomson, K.J. Noons, Ryan Couture, Pat Healy, Adriano Martins, Kurt Holobaugh
With the addition of key Strikeforce alum, the UFC will garner top talent creating interesting divisional match ups in the future. Moving forward those chosen to crossover will face continued scrutiny regarding their success within the new promotion. It’s up to Strikeforce veteran Gilbert Melendez and Daniel Cormier to squash the early doubters.
Both men are scheduled to fight on the UFC on Fox 7 card. Cormier will take on UFC veteran Frank Mir while Melendez is scheduled to fight current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. The Henderson/Melendez championship fight will headline the UFC on Fox 7 event held on April 20, 2013 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
It’s important to note that this list is not comprehensive or exclusive. That may sound comforting to some, but those yet to receive an invite from the UFC take little comfort in their unknown employment status. In the days ahead the UFC will have the difficult task of finalizing their crossover roster. In the meantime speculation and misinformation will cause us all to wish Strikeforce had never left us.
You’re right – I was reaching there.
By Scott Levesque (@scottlevesque)
ProFightingFans.com Staff Writer