The most important event of the year (for the guys fighting on it)

Prepare your anuses, MMA fans. For this weekend, an event of epic proportions is happening. No, not a stacked UFC pay per view – oh, I remember those. But the LAST STRIKEFORCE CARD IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE. That’s right. Barring the infinite dimension multiverse theory being correct, Saturday will be the last time you’ll be able to see fighters step into the hexegonal cage and fight for … something. A meaningful championship title? Eh, not really. Glory? Is glory really achievable in the purgatory that Strikeforce has become? Okay, a lot of these fights don’t mean much in and of themselves. It is what they mean for the future that really matters here.

This final Strikeforce event feels more like a strange Game of Death situation where fighters are being forced to fight for their continued existence in the major leagues. As Jorge Gurgel (fighting Adriano Martins) put it, “The winners go back to the UFC, and the losers get released, just like that.” So in many ways, you haven’t seen an MMA event that matters this much in a very long time. What other event has held the fate of more fighters in its grip than the final Strikeforce show? For 20 guys, a win means a shot in the pinnacle league of the sport. A loss? Best not to think about that.

So site back on Saturday night and prepare to be entertained by a bunch of fighters who are literally fighting for their careers. The event is a spectacle of a job interview, one where just eeking out a win probably won’t be good enough to guarantee being carried across into the UFC. With so much riding on a single performance, I think we’re going to witness some pretty dramatic moments. Moments that, for better or worse, are going to define a lot of careers moving forward into 2013.

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