Evangelista Santos

Villasenor Edges Santos at “Challengers”


“Smokin” Joe Villasenor raises his arms in triumph over Evangelista Cyborg Friday night in the main event on the second Strikeforce Challengers series on Showtime. Photo by Esther Lin/Strikeforce.

VILLASENOR DECISIONS CYBORG IN MAIN EVENT; GURGEL AND HEUN PROVIDE CROWD-PLEASING FIREWORKS; KENNEDY AND KAUFMAN EACH SCORE VICTORIES
KENT, Wash. – “Smokin” Joe Villasenor showed no signs of rust after a year away from the cage as he recorded a close split decision over Evangelista “Cyborg” in the main event of the sophomore edition of Strikeforce Challengers Friday night on Showtime before an enthusiastic crowd at the ShoWare Center.
In a gritty and tactical battle all the way to the end, Villasenor proved victorious winning on two of the three judges scorecards, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28. “I haven’t fought in over a year and that’s a great fight to come back to,” Villasenor said afterwards. “A three-round war. I was really surprised by (Cyborg’s) countering. It turned into a great fight.”

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Previewing Strikeforce Challengers: The Main Card


Joey Villasenor. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.

Strikeforce continues to move forward and will hold its second-ever “Challengers” event tonight on Showtime from the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington with a decidedly different look compared to their inaugural event back in May.

While a slew of skilled prospects will still be featured, tonight’s show will sport an unusual number of fighters that are often seen on the main cards of Strikeforce’s bigger events. The fact that both Dennis Hallman and Duane Ludwig have been relegated to preliminary bouts shows the sheer amount of notable talent on display.

The event will be headlined by a sure-fire middleweight slugfest between Brazilian striker Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos and Greg Jackson-trained Joey Villasenor. Additional bouts slated for the televised main card include a middleweight clash between former BodogFight welterweight champion Nick Thompson and Army veteran Tim Kennedy as well as a lightweight bout involving Jorge Gurgel and Conor Heun.

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Villasenor vs. “Cyborg” Santos to Headline Strikeforce Challengers in June


Joey Villasenor. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.

NEW YORK — Middleweight (185 pound) wrecking machines “Smokin” Joey Villasenor (26-6) and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (16-12) will face off in the main event of a Strikeforce Challengers mixed martial arts (MMA) card at the all-new ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington on Friday, June 19. 

Also enlisted for the card, thus far, are lightweight (155 pound) fan-favorite Jorge Gurgel (12-5), wrestling ace Dennis “Superman” Hallman (40-12-2), and Hallman protégé Cory “The One” Devela (9-2).

The live Showtime telecast of the event will begin at 11 p.m. ET/PT (tape delayed on the west coast) and will include up to five bouts.

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Schultz-Masvidal Added to Sengoku V


Ryan Schultz. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.

World Victory Road has announced three scheduled bouts for their upcoming Sengoku V show, which will take place on September 28 at the Yoyogi National First Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

Former IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz, who was knocked out by Mizuto Hirota at Sengoku IV last weekend, will take on American Top Team product Jorge Masvidal in a main card lightweight affair. Masvidal has not fought since losing to Rodrigo Damm at Sengoku III via second-round TKO.

Two first-round matchups for the promotion’s inaugural middleweight grand prix were also made official. Longtime veteran Yuki Kondo will take on Yuki Sasaki while Siyar Bahadurzada will go up against Chute Boxe’s Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos.

Additional participants already announced for the show include Jorge Santiago and Kazuhiro Nakamura, who will both compete in the middleweight tournament, as well as grappling wizards Alexandre “Xande” Ribeiro and Roger Gracie.

Evening News and Notes - August 9, 2009


Ben Rothwell. Photo by Tracy Lee. Courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com

Report: Rothwell-Rizzo to Happen at Affliction II

Former IFL heavyweight champion Ben Rothwell will attempt to bounce back from his first loss in three years when he reportedly takes on three-time UFC heavyweight title challenger Pedro Rizzo at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event on October 11th in Las Vegas according to MMANews.com, which cites Affliction VP Tom Atencio as confirming the fight.

At Affliction’s debut show last month, Rothwell suffered a third-round knockout loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski while Rizzo was defeated in a rematch against Josh Barnett, another former UFC title holder. Barnett knocked Rizzo out with a left in the second round of their fight.

WVR Announces Middleweight GP Participants

World Victory Road has announced four of the fighters that will compete in their inaugural middleweight grand prix, which will begin at “Sengoku V” on September 28th at the Yoyogi National First Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, Jorge Santiago, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Siyar Bahadurzada will all compete in first-round bouts.

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Report: Jensen Tapped to Replace Santos


Ryan Jensen weighs-in for UFC 77: Hostile Territory. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Ryan Jensen has been tapped to replace Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos against Joey Villasenor at this weekend’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show, which will take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie, who confirmed the matchup with Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz.

Santos was forced to pull out of the matchup after learning that visa problems would prevent him from entering the country in time for the fight.

Jensen had a six-fight winning streak snapped after signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he lost consecutive bouts to Thales Leites and Demian Maia inside the confines of the promotion.

Since being knocked out by a flying knee courtesy of Robbie Lawler at PRIDE 32, Villasenor has gone on two out of his last three fights. A TKO loss to Murlio Rua at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni was sandwiched in between wins over David Loiseau and Riki Fukuda at separate EliteXC events last year.

Former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and undefeated former kickboxer Cung Le will meet in an anticipated middleweight clash that will headline this weekend’s show.

Report: “Cyborg” Out of Villasenor Bout


Photo courtesy of Hardcore Championship Fighting.

Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos has reportedly been forced to pull out of his upcoming bout against Joey Villasenor at next weekend’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” event due to visa problems that will prevent him from entering the country.

The news comes from MMA Weekly, who confirmed the news with Strikeforce vice president Mike Afromowitz.

“He has been having visa problems in Brazil,” Afromowitz told Ken Pishna. “The delay in his arrival would jeopardize him getting licensed in time for the fight. There are a few guys that we are considering, but we’re still looking to finalize a replacement.”

Santos was victorious at World Victory Road’s inaugural show earlier this month, submitting Makoto Takimoto with a heel hook. Santos was set to replace an an injured Joe Riggs, who was originally forced to bow out of the fight after sustaining a severe back injury in a February bout against Cory Devela.

The Chute Boxe product was also recently released by Edmonton-based Hardcore Championship Fighting, who were forced to terminate Santos’ contract after he signed to fight Takimoto just weeks before he was slated to former UFC middleweight title contender David Loiseau.

Former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and undefeated former kickboxer Cung Le will meet in an anticipated middleweight clash that will headline next weekend’s event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

WVR: Sengoku Quick Results


Josh Barnett throws a right hand at Pawel Nastula at PRIDE 32: The Real Deal. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

A full recap of the event will come later today…

Nick Thompson def. Fabricio Monteiro - Unanimous Decision
Ryo Kawamura def. Antonio Neto - Unanimous Decision
Evangelista Santos def. Makoto Takimoto - Submission (Heel Hook)
Kazuyuki Fujita def. Peter Graham - Submission (North-South Choke)
Kazuo Misaki def. Siyar Bahadurzada - Submission (Guillotine)
Takanori Gomi def. Duane Ludwig - TKO (Cut)
Josh Barnett def. Hidehiko Yoshida - Submission (Heel Hook)

Santos Replaces Riggs Against Villasenor


Joey Villasenor and Riki Fukuda exchange punches at EliteXC: Uprising. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.

Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos will replace an injured Joe Riggs against middleweight Joey Villasenor at the upcoming Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le”, which will take place on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

Former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and undefeated former kickboxer Cung Le will meet in an anticipated middleweight bout that will headline the card.

Strikeforce officially announced the bout earlier this afternoon.

Santos is also scheduled to go up against Makoto Takimoto at World Victory Road’s inaugural show titled “Sengoku” tomorrow in Japan. Santos’s availability to challenge Villasenor will obviously depend on whether or not he comes out of his fight against Takimoto relatively unscathed.

“I always look for the knockout,” Santos said in a press release sent out to the media today. “I think this will be a duel between his boxing and my Muay Thai techniques. Villasenor is an ideal opponent for me.”

Villasenor was slated to return to action at King of the Cage’s Warlords event last month but pulled out after being added to this card by EliteXC officials.

Since being knocked out by a flying knee courtesy of Robbie Lawler at PRIDE 32, Villasenor has gone on two out of his last three fights. A TKO loss to Murlio Rua at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni was sandwiched in between wins over David Loiseau and Riki Fukuda at separate EliteXC events last year.

“Like wine, I think I get better with age,” said Villasenor. “People should look for a more technically sound Joey Villasenor in 2008. This should be a great fight to kick off the year with.”

“Sengoku” Begins a New Era for MMA in Japan


Josh Barnett weighs-in for PRIDE 32: The Real Deal. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

For those of you in North America, a new era of mixed martial arts will take place over in Japan while you are sleeping Tuesday night. World Victory Road will hold it’s inaugural show titled “Sengoku” Wednesday at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

The show will feature a main event between former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett and former Olympian Hidehiko Yoshida. Former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi and one-time K-1 kickboxing standout Duane “Bang” Ludwig will clash. Kazuo Misaki will also compete on the card.

A definite mix of former PRIDE veterans and other notable fighters that have competed in various organizations around the world make this event intriguing.

Main Card

As far as the main event goes, both Barnett and Yoshida will be attempting to shake of a good amount of ring rust as neither fighter has competed since PRIDE: Shockwave 2006 on New Year’s Eve two years ago.

Barnett lost a unanimous decision to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a rematch of their Open-Weight Grand Prix bout at the event. Yoshida was stopped with strikes by heavyweight slugger James Thompson.

While Barnett has been staying in shape thanks to a regular schedule involving professional wrestling appearances and grappling matches, Yoshida is a complete question mark conditioning wise. In reality though, it won’t matter very much in this fight.

Even though the two are former training partners, it shouldn’t be much of a chess match. Look for Barnett to dominate Yoshida and pick up an easy win.

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