Commentary

Strikeforce: 'Challengers' report card

Originally Published: January 10, 2011
By Josh Gross | ESPN.com

Strikeforce began its 2011 campaign Friday in Nashville, Tenn., with a prospect-level event featuring several fighters who, through good fortune and hard work, could impact mixed martial arts this year and beyond.

When grading inexperienced fighters, it's best to do so against the weight of expectations and the realities of their performances. So this is the prism through which the weekend's results are viewed.

Is Tyron Woodley still the future? Can Amanda Nunes overthrow her Brazilian contemporary, Cristiane Santos? What are the chances that Daniel Cormier or Rhadi Ferguson morph from Olympians to champion mixed martial artists?

While Friday's results alone can't provide complete answers to those questions, they do advance the discussion on prospects off to an early start in the new year.

From A to a D, the evening's report card:

Josh Gross covers MMA for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at JoshGrossESPN.