Profile:Tarec Saffiedine (12-3) enjoyed a steady stream of success on the independent circuit, which led him to training with the legendary Team Quest in California and a stint with DREAM. The 25-year-old Belgian fighter was an alternate in DREAM’s welterweight tournament in 2009 before he was quickly snatched up by Strikeforce, where he has posted a 5-1 record since early 2010, with his only loss coming at the hands of welterweight title contender Tyron Woodley. Saffiedine is most comfortable on his feet, as he’s a black belt in the Shihaishinkai form of karate, but he uses it as a way to wear down his opponents until an opening in their defense is found, in which case he will go for any submissions when they make themselves available.
Strikeforce Welterweight Contender Roger Bowling (+235)
Profile:Roger Bowling (11-2) is always ready for a fight. After collecting a 7-0 record on the independent circuit, the 30-year-old fighter out of Cinncinati, Ohio has gone 4-2 in Strikeforce, including a highly-entertaining trilogy against Bobby Voelker, who has defeated him twice. Many of Bowling’s fights turn into wild slugfests that either leave his opponents on the ground (he has seven knockouts) or himself open for unnecessary punishment.
Opening Strikeforce Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Saffiedine a large-305 favorite (bet $305 to win $100) while Bowling opened as a +235 underdog (bet $100 to win $235) according to the MMA odds. Bowling looks to be outmatched in this one by Saffiedine, who has fought better competition even though both fighters have almost the same number of bouts in Strikeforce. Half of Bowling’s six fights have come against Voelker, and one of them was also at catchweight against Jerron Peoples. Meanwhile, Saffiedine’s only loss in Strikeforce came against Woodley via unanimous decision, otherwise, he might be fighting for the interim welterweight title instead. Saffiedine’s expereince in DREAM also is far more impressive than Bowling’s prior stops before Strikeforce.