Originally rumored in February, the pair was initially expected to square off at Strikeforce “Feijao vs. Henderson” on March 5. That booking fell through, however, and the show went on without a 'Cyborg'-Saffiedine throwdown.
After a report was filed on MMAJunkie.com on Tuesday asserting that interest in the match-up had been reignited, Sherdog.com confirmed with a source close to one of the fighters that verbal agreements are in place for a to-be-named event in the future, likely an upcoming July show.
While there has been no official word from the promotion regarding either the welterweight affair or the July event, the show is also rumored to play host to a catch-weight contest between Fedor Emelianenko and current Strikeforce 205-pound champion Dan Henderson.
Santos was last seen going toe-to-toe with Strikeforce welterweight king Nick Diaz in an action-packed main event in January. Though “Cyborg” gave an excellent account of himself in just his second career effort at 170-pounds, he ultimately fell victim to a Diaz armbar late in the second round. The loss snapped a two-fight winning streak for the Brazilian, including a knockout victory over Dream welterweight champ Marius Zaromskis last year.
Considered one of MMA's brightest welterweight up-and-comers, Saffiedine comes off a close, unanimous decision defeat at the hands of fellow prospect Tyron Woodley at Strikeforce “Challengers 13” in January. Prior to that defeat, “The Sponge” had rattled off consecutive victories in 2010 over the likes of James Terry, Nate Moore and Brock Larson. Saffiedine, 24, is a native Belgian and holds half of his career wins by submission.