10 best fighters for UFC to take after Strikeforce’s end

Maggie Hendricks

This Saturday, Strikeforce will host its final show. The promotion, owned by the UFC's parent company, will cease to exist, leaving many of their fighters to the UFC. No assumptions are being made on any fighters joining the UFC, but here are the 10 best from the Strikeforce roster* who are now available to the UFC.

10. Miesha Tate -- The woman who lasted the longest against Ronda Rousey can also be one of the bricks that help build the UFC women's bantamweight division. A rematch with Sarah Kaufman would be a great bout to show that women not named Rousey can be draws.

9. Josh Barnett -- Though he hasn't been in the UFC since 2002, Barnett is still an exciting heavyweight to add to one of the UFC's best divisions. Before his loss to Daniel Cormier, Barnett was on an eight-fight win streak, with seven of those fights ending with a submission or knockout.

8. Tim Kennedy -- The longtime Strikeforce standout should get a chance with the UFC after Saturday's bout with Trevor Smith. He was a part of some of Strikeforce's most exciting bouts, and will get to show just how good he is in the UFC's middleweight division.

7. Gegard Mousasi -- The one-time light heavyweight champion can be a thrilling fighter to watch. He will get to show where he belongs with Saturday's bout against Mike Kyle.

6. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza -- He has great submission skills, and showed in his last bout that he has knockout power, too. Souza will get his first chance against a UFC fighter on Saturday against Ed Herman.

5. Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos -- She is coming off of a suspension because of a banned substance, but before that suspension, she was the most dominant female fighter in the world. If she wants to come to the UFC, she'll have to cut down to 135, but if she did, the bout against Rousey would be insane.

4. Nate Marquardt -- The welterweight champ will get a chance to defend his belt on Saturday against Tarec Saffiedine. He has plenty of UFC experience and a record of 32-10. He also said he would be up for fighting teammate, friend and UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

3. Luke Rockhold -- The middleweight champ is excited to get more difficult competition, and he will finally get a bigger stage to show off his well-rounded style.

2. Gilbert Melendez -- In many ways, Melendez needs the UFC's lightweight division more than it needs him. He cleaned out Strikeforce's lightweights some time ago, and it will be exciting to see such a high-level lightweight take on one of the UFC's toughest divisions.

1. Daniel Cormier -- Despite being a huge underdog, Cormier walked through Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix. His wrestling is unparalleled in the UFC, and he showed against Antonio Silva that his striking game isn't to be looked past as well. The biggest question is what division he'll join. His teammate Cain Velasquez is the heavyweight champion, and Cormier has said he wants to fight UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones.

*Some Strikeforce fighters, like Derek Brunson and Tyron Woodley, have already crossed over to the UFC. The fighters chosen for this list are ones who are currently listed on Strikeforce's website.

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