Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy July 14, 2012 at Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon Strikeforce Welterweight Contender Nate Marquardt (-125) Profile: Nate Marquardt (34-10-2) obviously has a lot more experience than Tyron Woodley if you compare their records. However, the 33-year-old also could be headed toward the downside of his career after being released by the UFC for not receiving medical clearance to fight following testosterone replacement therapy. Marquardt was going to face Rick Story at UFC on Versus 4 in his debut at welterweight last June 26 and has been off since defeating Dan Miller by unanimous decision at UFC 128 last March 19 as a middleweight. He has split his last four bouts overall, beating Miller and Rousimar Palhares and losing to Yushin Okami and Chael Sonnen. Three of those fights, including the two losses, ended with unanimous decisions while the other was a first-round TKO of Palhares. Strikeforce Welterweight Contender Tyron Woodley (-105) Profile: Tyron Woodley (10-0) has yet to lose in his pro MMA career but also has not faced a lot of stiff competition to date. Eight of his 10 bouts have come in Strikeforce, with the last three and four of the past five going to the judges. This is a stark contrast to the start of his career, when he submitted his first five opponents, including his first three in Strikeforce. The 30-year-old is a former collegiate wrestler at the University of Missouri and coming off a split decision victory against Jordan Mein at Strikforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine on January 7. The biggest win of his career was earning a unanimous decision over Paul Daley at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson last July 30. Opening Strikeforce Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Marquardt a slight -125 favorite (bet $125 to win $100) while Woodley opened as a -105 underdog (bet $105 to win $100) according to the MMA odds. Woodley’s lack of experience hurts him to a degree in this spot, as Marquardt has been through some big battles against some of the best in the world, including current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. And while he has not won many of those battles – with two of his last four losses coming against Silva and Chael Sonnen – Marquardt knows what it takes to get to the top of the ranks. Meanwhile, Woodley has done everything he can to stay unbeaten and sits in the No. 15 spot in the MMAOB MMA fighter rankings. Some of his wins have not been pretty, but he has yet to taste defeat in his pro MMA career and is one of the true grinders in the sport. That sets up for an intriguing championship bout between a grizzled veteran in Marquardt and a potential rising star in Woodley.
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