The Stock Report: Saffiedine, Souza rising

January 14, 2013, 3:55 PM

The Stock Report lets you know which fighters are rising and which are falling following the weekend’s events.

This installment comes from the final farewell for the Strikeforce MMA promotion this past Saturday that saw Tarec Saffiedine upset Nate Marquardt to become the final holder of the welterweight title.

Here are the relevant fighters who improved their standing and those who hurt their position following their fights on the weekend.

RISING

Tarec Saffiedine: Large gain

The obvious choice here. Few gave Saffiedine much of a chance to go in and take the title from Marquardt, let alone do it so emphatically. He goes from middle-of-the-road, questionable No. 1 contender in Strikeforce to champion and UFC title contender, faster than you can say leg kicks.

Ronaldo Souza: Large gain

By no means is Ed Herman a top contender in the UFC middleweight division, but the way Souza took him out certainly made a statement to say the least. I thought it would be a closer fight, but the win says without a doubt that Souza is ready for all the top contenders in the division south of Anderson Silva.

Ryan Couture: Gain

Despite the controversial decision, Couture got the win with the best performance of his young career to date. While many were unsure of his overall game going in, he battled tooth and nail with Noons and raised his stock considerably going into his debut in the UFC. He should be offered a much more interesting opponent after that strong fight.

KJ Noons: Slight gain

I had Noons winning his fight against Couture and really, when was the last time you saw a boring Noons fight? The man goes out and gets it on and seems to have a lot of fun doing it. While he may have been on the cusp of anything really relevant in his move over to the UFC, this fight boosted his stock a touch and could land him a very intriguing and relevant match-up in his welcome to the big show

FALLING

Nate Marquardt: Large dip

Marquardt was all but set to make his return to the UFC holding some well deserved hardware around his waist but lost it all on Saturday with a less-than-stellar performance. I’m sure he will be in the UFC cage eventually, but now he has little leverage in his hopes of that return. The biggest loser on the night.

Ed Herman: Dip

Herman was the only man from the UFC roster on the card and that did carry a certain clout going in. He is an experienced veteran who gets credit for accepting a very tough fight against Souza. Losing to Souza is not a huge failure, but the quick submission loss cannot be overlooked. It was always deemed the strength of his game and it drops Herman down in the division order.

Daniel Cormier: Slight dip

This is being overly critical but such is the case when you get stuck with a no-win fight like Dion Staring. Cormier looked good again without a doubt but didn’t many of you wonder what took him so long to take Staring out? Big performances come with big hype and expectations and Cormier only fell slightly short. He is already booked against Frank Mir later in the year so it did not cost him that much, but his stock still declines a bit.

Even – Josh Barnett, Gegard Mousasi, Mike Kyle, Roger Gracie, Tim Kennedy


Dwight Wakabayashi is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report UFC and regular contributor to Sportsnet.ca’s UFC section. Follow him on Twitter @wakafightermma.

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