A welterweight scrap between up-and-comer Tarec Saffiedine and recent title challenger Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (Pictured), which was reportedly being targeted for Strikeforce “Feijao vs. Henderson” on March 5, now appears unlikely.
After multiple sources close to the negotiations confirmed the rumored contest to Sherdog.com, new information gathered Thursday suggests the bout will not take place after all.
The event, which will be headlined by the light heavyweight title affair between champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and challenger Dan Henderson, will go down from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and will coincide with the Arnold Classic.
Saffiedine was last seen dropping a hard-fought unanimous decision to fellow prospect Tyron Woodley in the main event of Strikeforce Challengers 13 on Jan. 7. Prior to his loss to Woodley, “Sponge” had earned three straight victories. The Team Quest product is a veteran of both Dream and Shark Fights and owns a 2-1 record inside the Strikeforce cage. Saffiedine owns half of his 10 career victories by submission.
A product of the vaunted Chute Boxe camp, Santos just contended for the welterweight title on Jan. 29, losing by second-round submission to cagey champion Nick Diaz. Though “Cyborg” controlled the early going with powerful kicks to the lead leg of the Cesar Gracie product, Diaz’s accurate boxing proved equally effective. After taking the fight to the floor in round two, Santos was caught in an armbar and submitted with only 10 seconds remaining in the round. Fighting the majority of his career at heavier weights, his title shot against Diaz marked Santos’ second career fight at 170 pounds.
Along with the main event, a women's 135-pound title affair is also official for “Feijao vs. Henderson,” as Marloes Coenen will put her belt on the line against Miesha Tate. Also announced: a middleweight scrap between Tim Kennedy and Luke Rockhold and a lightweight tilt featuring Billy Evangelista and Jorge Masvidal.