Jordan Mein had a breakout performance Saturday in Cincinnati. | Photo: Sherdog.com
With former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz’s bout against B.J. Penn at UFC 137, the promotion’s 170-pound division faces an uncertain future, particularly if the UFC pursues a scrap-and-abandon approach, harvesting its best fighters while letting the company wither and die. Jordan Mein’s brutal destruction of Evangelista Santos at Strikeforce “Barnett vs. Kharitonov” on Saturday in Cincinnati was a resounding statement for the Canadian welterweight, as rained home a dozen elbows to finish the job with a blend of tenacity and brutality.
Further added to the mix is Diaz’s unpredictable behavior last week, which precipitated one of the strangest card switches in history, as he was pulled from his title challenge against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 137 and then reinserted in the lineup against Penn. I am not sure how it all shakes out -- and anyone who claims they know should bottle and sell such foresight -- but exciting performances like Mein’s go a long way with a short list of viable contenders.
The best of Strikeforce’s post-Diaz bunch is clearly Tyron Woodley. However, his back-to-back effective but unexciting decision wins make him tougher to promote, especially when compared to Mein’s performance.
Jason Probst can be reached at Jason@jasonprobst.com or twitter.com/jasonprobst.