Saturday's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II" is in the books and it's time to look at the futures of the fighters involved in the event. We'll tackle the winners here and the losers after the jump:
Nick Diaz — It'll be interesting to see where Strikeforce goes with its welterweight champion following his unanimous decision win against K.J. Noons. Another grudge match seems to be in order for Diaz, this one with Jason "Mayhem" Miller. Personally, I'm against that fight because I don't feel Strikeforce should be rewarding bad behavior by turning embarrassing incidents into money-making events for the individuals involved. Unfortunately for Diaz, Strikeforce's welterweight division is lacking, so a fight at a higher weight might be in order. If Strikeforce decides not to move Diaz up in weight, Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos could be a worthy foe.
Josh Thomson — The clear fight here is a third match with current lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. Thomson upset Melendez in June 2008 to win the title by decision, but it was Melendez who decisively took the rematch, defeating Thomson by decision in December in a Fight of the Year candidate. A third fight between these two makes sense, especially considering Thomson will have gained two wins since losing the title. And in Strikeforce, two wins for a top talent is more than enough for a title shot.
Marloes Coenen — Coenen is the only winner with a sure-fire opponent on tap. She'll fight Miesha Tate next, likely in early 2011. Coenen bested Sarah Kaufman to win the women's welterweight championship and will face Tate, who won the promotion's one-night 135-pound women's tournament in August. Tate has won five in a row, including three in Strikeforce.
Tyron Woodley — Woodley is an interesting case. He's 9-0 in his career and 5-0 in Strikeforce, but I feel he needs to pick up a win against a solid veteran fighter before he can be propelled into a title shot with Diaz. If Strikeforce decides to go with Diaz/Miller at a higher weight, a title eliminator between Woodley and Santos would make the most sense in my book. Should Woodley win, he comes out looking better with a win against a veteran. If Santos takes it, he's handed a highly-regarded prospect his first loss. If Joe Riggs comes back to 170 pounds, a Woodley/Riggs fight would accomplish a lot of those same goals.
We want to hear your ideas in the comments section. Did I miss anyone? Do you have any suggestions? Let them be known!