Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK Saturday, January 12, 2013 Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier (-1750) Profile: Daniel Cormier (10-0) is a former Olympic freestyle wrestler turned Strikeforce heavyweight powerhouse out of American Kickboxing Academy who has had a rollercoaster’s share of ups and downs. An excruciating 2008 Olympic bid in wrestling led Cormier to be named team captain, but he was unable to compete due to kidney failure during the weight cut. On September 25, 2009, the 33-year-old Cormier made his pro debut on Strikeforce: Kennedy vs. Cummings and has not looked back since. Training with Cain Velasquez and a host of quality talent out of AKA, Cormier has developed an explosive stand-up game to go along with his dangerous Olympic-level wrestling. He used those skills to plow through the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix as a reserve replacement for Alistair Overeem, knocking off Jeff Monson (unanimous decision), Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (first-round knockout) and Josh Barnett (unanimous decision) en route to the championship. Strikeforce Heavyweight Challenger Dion Staring (+1050) Profile: Tapped for the final Strikeforce show, Shooto vet Dion Staring (28-7) is a mystery to most. But coming out of the Netherlands with Golden Glory and by way of the Blackzilians in Florida, he’s a well-rounded martial artist who has the potential to make a splash in his matchup with Daniel Cormier. At heavyweight it only takes one punch to end things, and although Staring doesn’t have the absolute best ground game, it’s sufficient enough. Cormier isn’t some average grappler, as his Olympic level wrestling could bring any man to his back. Still, the 34-year-old Staring has a “striker’s chance” with half of his wins coming by way of knockout, and he will be looking to pull off one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. Opening Strikeforce Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Cormier a massive -1750 favorite (bet $1750 to win $100) while Staring opened as a +1050 underdog (bet $100 to win $1050) according to the MMA odds. This is merely a tune-up for the Strikeforce champ Cormier in a non-title fight that has him as one of the biggest favorites in MMA betting history. Cormier gave Staring some credit for stepping up to fight him, although he should have no trouble disposing of his opponent in preparation for his jump to the UFC. Remember, he was hoping to fight former UFC champ Frank Mir in this spot, but an injury prevented that matchup from happening. Now MMA bettors will have to pay a very heavy price to back the man many think will challenge for a championship at either heavyweight or light heavyweight once he fulfills his contract and ends up in the UFC.