Strikeforce returns with another female-headlined card as fast-rising women’s star Ronda Rousey defends her Strikeforce bantamweight title against former champion Sarah Kaufman at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California this Saturday night on Showtime.
Other notables on the card include former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza looking for a second straight win against previously scheduled opponent Derek Brunson. Bouts featuring prospects Lumumba Sayers, Ovince St. Preux and Tarec Saffiedine will also take place.
Here’s a preview of the event’s five-fight main card, which can be seen in its entirety after the jump.
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— Well-traveled veterans Paul "Semtex" Daley and Kazuo Misaski have signed on to face each other on the main card of Strikeforce's scheduled March 3 event at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Daley returns to Strikeforce after winning two straight fights outside of the organization. His opponent, Misaki last defeated Akira Shoji via second-round TKO at DEEP's 53rd Impact event last April. [Strikeforce.com]
— In his last bout before taking a spot in Bellator's upcoming eight-man bantamweight tourney this spring, former Shooto 132 lb. champion Masakatsu Ueda edged out heralded prospect Kyoji Horiguchi and took home a majority decision at Shooto's "Survivor Tournament Final" event on Sunday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. [Sherdog]
"I put in my time and, being the former champ and having had two fights since the only loss of my career, I've definitely earned the right to fight Miesha Tate and fight for the 135-pound title with Strikeforce. Then there's Ronda, who's only been fighting for a year. Granted, she has her judo experience, but she hasn't fought anyone of a high caliber. She's fought at 145 pounds, hasn't even competed at 135 pounds at all, and for her to be given the opportunity to fight for the title, it's pretty ridiculous. She's scared to fight Cyborg, for sure, and understandably. Cyborg is a formidable fighter. But if you're saying you want a title, it shouldn't matter whether it's at 145 or 135. Now she's backpedaling and saying, 'Oh, I want Cyborg to come to 135.' Or maybe she'll do it as a catchweight. Or maybe in four or five fights. She's pretty much just pushing the fight off, clearly running from it."
Former Strikeforce bantamweight women's champion Sarah Kaufman expresses her feelings to MMA Fighting concerning Ronda Rousey's recently granted title shot against reigning title holder Miesha Tate for a yet-to-be-announced event in March.
Strikeforce will hold its first-ever show in the Las Vegas area with “Strikeforce Challengers 17”, which takes place this evening at the Palms Casino Resort, a frequent stop for the UFC’s “Ultimate Fighter” finales.
The event is headlined by the third meeting between rivals Roger Bowling and Bobby Voelker, who each have a win over one another heading into their rubber match. Also scheduled is a women's bout between former welterweight champion Sarah Kaufmann and former Marine Liz Carmouche as well as a light heavyweight attraction between rising contender Ovince St. Preux and Joe Cason.
The five-fight main card will be televised live on Showtime starting at 10 PM ET.
All eighteen fighters scheduled to compete at tomorrow night's Strikeforce Challengers 17 event at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas successfully made weight on Thursday.
The show is headlined by the third meeting between rivals Roger Bowling and Bobby Voelker, who each have a win over one another headed into their rubber match tomorrow night.
Also scheduled for the event's main card is a women's bout between former welterweight champion Sarah Kaufman and former Marine Liz Carmouche as well as a light heavyweight attraction between rising contender Ovince St. Preux and Joe Cason.
“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.”
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.
CONTROVERSIAL BLOW DISQUALIFIES BILLY EVANGELISTA FROM MAIN EVENT MATCHUP WITH MIKE AINA, UNBEATEN SARAH KAUFMAN OUTPOINTS MIESHA TATE
FRESNO, Calif. – Previously unbeaten hometown favorite Billy Evangelista lost by disputed, controversial second-round disqualification to Mike Aina Friday in the main event of the inaugural Strikeforce Challengers telecast on Showtime.
At the finish, neither fighter was satisfied with the outcome at the Save Mart Center.
Evangelista (9-1), of Fresno, was disqualified for “intentionally” kneeing Aina (12-6-1), of Hilo, Hawaii, in the head while the Hawaiian fighter was down. The rule is a fighter can knee a downed opponent to the body, but not the head.
Sarah Kaufman. Photo by Mike Renouard/Northwest Fight Scene.
NEW YORK — Undefeated power puncher Sarah Kaufman (8-0) will fill the void left by Kim “Sugar Free” Couture and throw down with fellow rising star Miesha Tate (6-1) in a 135-pound contest during the Showtime televised portion of the inaugural Strikeforce Challengers mixed martial arts (MMA) event at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., on Friday, May 15.
Couture’s withdrawal last week created an ideal opportunity for the 23-year-old Kaufman, who is in fighting form after stopping Sara Schneider in the second round of their matchup on April 23. Kaufman has never been taken the distance in a professional fight.
“I’m very excited about this fight because I’ve been hearing about Miesha Tate for quite a while,” said Kaufman, a former dancer who hails from British Columbia, Canada. “I know she has good wrestling and she’s been pretty active. She’s probably going to want to take the fight to the ground and I’ll want to stay standing so it should be an interesting matchup.”
Punching and kicking opponents is a far cry from Kaufman’s former passion. She’s been dancing since the ripe age of two. At eight years old, the five-foot, five-inch Kaufman joined a dance company and soon after began performing in musicals, dancing to everything from ballet to jazz to hip-hop.