[EXCLUSIVE] Strikeforce’s Tarec Saffiedine: Woodley Rematch ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’, Wants Title Shot
STUDIO MMA, RIVERSIDE, CA – Strikeforce welterweight standout Tarec Saffiedine, like many other athletes, has other passions outside his respected sport. Some like to fish, hunt or even ride motorcycles in their spare time.
I discovered sky diving not long ago and I really like it,” Saffiedine told StudioMMA.com. “Besides that I really like music and I want to start surfing.
When he’s not in camp preparing for a fight, Saffiedine likes to work on improving his overall mixed martial arts game.
I like to train on my weaknesses, especially in BJJ.
Saffiedine [13-3-0 MMA, 6-1-0 SF] most recently had his seventh bout within the promotion, earning a unanimous decision over hard-hitting Roger Bowling in August.
It’s been 2 summers back to back I’ve been training hard for fights… I travelled a little bit after my last fight.”
The win marked Saffiedine’s third straight since dropping a close but unanimous decision to Tyron Woodley, who recently lost his bid at the vacant Strikforce welterweight strap.
I have 7 fights since signing with Strikeforce and only one loss to Tyron Woodley. I should be next for the title.
The current Strikeforce welterweight champion, Nate Marquardt, claimed the title with a devastating 4th round KO of Woodley in July. Some may agree Saffiedine is a lock for the next title shot, while some may argue a number one contender match-up against Jason High should be next.
He has 3 wins in a row but I’ve had more fights than him under Strikeforce. But if Strikeforce wants me to fight him, I will fight him.
With the prospect of a title shot or number one contender fight looming, Saffiedine doesn’t see any need to have a rematch with Woodley just yet.
A rematch with Tyron doesn’t make sense right now. He lost [his title shot] and he has to build himself back up. I need to fight somebody on a winning streak if I want to get a chance at the title.
The month of September hasn’t been a very great one for Zuffa, with two events – UFC 151 and Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy – being canceled. However, UFC bounced back with two successful shows, UFC 152 and then UFC on Fuel TV 5 this past weekend.
Saffiedine gave his take on the recent event cancellations, as well as the injury bug that has been dismantling fight cards as of late.
Its sucks for the others fighters on the card because we spend time at the gym, money for food, trainers, sparring partners etc… Especially for those that do not make a lot of money. I don’t know what’s going on with all the injuries, it seems epidemic. But me for example I always injure myself more in practice than in my fights, the sport is still new and we are all still learning how to properly train and recover. We push ourselves through injuries in practice and sometimes it breaks before a fight. You have a lot of athletes getting injured in others sport but it doesn’t affect the game. But in MMA it does, when it’s the main event.
Along with being one of the top prospect/contender in the welterweight division, Saffiedine also calls Team Quest home. Being part of Team Quest has its perks, training with great coaches and not to mention UFC veteran and MMA legend, Dan Henderson.
Dan is a legend of the sport and it’s an honor to train with him, I learned a lot when I first came [to the gym] and I am still learning a lot every day. He’s really helpful and teaches you the right things for MMA, with all his experience without hiding anything. We have also great coaches, Ricardo Feliciano, Daniel Woirin and Bryan Harper that help on a daily basis to improve every part of my game. I am really thankful to have a great team behind me.
Due to inactivity and lack of fights, numerous fighters have asked and been granted their release from Strikeforce. Saffiedine went from having 3-4 fights a year, to only two fights in both 2011 and 2012. While Saffiedine is one of the lucky ones who actually get’s to fight, the amount is not ideally for a fighter who is in his prime and wants to fight more.
It’s frustrating because I train hard all year but I try to keep myself busy with GI/NO GI tournaments and I help my teammates getting ready for their fights. Hopefully more shows will come up and I will be able to fight more often.
UFC absorbed WEC in late 2010, now many believe Strikeforce will meet the same fate. While Zuffa has been making attempts to send over talent to Strikeforce, there still is a lack of depth in all of the divisions.
Probably [UFC absorbing Strikeforce], we will see how it goes after this year. I think it’s great that we had Frank Mir coming over to fight Daniel Cormier; hopefully we can go over to the UFC and challenge them as well.