Tarec Saffiedine Carries Title Pressures into Saturday’s Strikeforce Fight

On Saturday night, two of Strikeforce’s most dynamic strikers will square off in the welterweight division when Tarec “The Sponge” Saffiedine meets Tyler Stinson at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine in Las Vegas.

Saffiedine returns to the Strikeforce hexagon after a calculated three-round decimation of veteran Scott Smith.  The Belgian didn’t appear to be troubled at all during the bout and landed his strikes almost at will.

Now moving forward with Stinson, the Team Quest pupil knows that the pressure is on and expects his opponent to come out guns blazing in the first round, but he’s prepared for it to go anywhere at anytime.

“I take this fight as any other fight,” Saffiedine told MMAWeekly.com.

“This fight doesn’t have to be a bigger fight because the pressure is on me and I really need to win this fight.  I train as hard just like I’m fighting anybody else and it’s going be a good fight and I’m looking forward to it.  He’s aggressive on his feet, especially in the first round.  I’m expecting him to do that, but if it goes another way I’m prepared to do so.”

Saffiedine’s bout against Stinson isn’t just any other fight though.  Former adversary Tyrone Woodley will be competing on the same card against a hungry up-and-comer in Jordan Mein. Whoever emerges victorious could be in line for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title.

Revenge is still on the mind of Saffiedine after losing to Woodley, and it would be the icing on the cake if Saffiedine could get the rematch for the title, but Saffiedine never looks too far forward and knows that he has his hands full with Stinson this Saturday night.

“It’s definitely on the back of my mind.  I’m focused on Tyler right now, but it’s definitely a boost and if I can get a rematch with Woodley it would mean even more if it is for a title.  I can’t even ask for more.

“I never underestimate anybody and I’m not going to start with him.  He’s really tough and I trained really hard for this fight and I won’t let (Stinson) get this chance.”

Follow Andrew Gladstone at @gladstone1 on Twitter.
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