Melvin Manhoef. Photo courtesy of FEG.
The changes keep coming for Tim Kennedy.
The U.S. military veteran has now been offered a bout against dangerous Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef for the main card of Strikeforce's first-ever trip to Columbus, Ohio on March 5. MMAJunkie.com was the first to report the news.
Kennedy was originally slated for a third showdown against rival Jason "Mayhem" Miller, but Miller was replaced by middleweight contender Luke Rockhold last week before Manhoef came into the picture.
Tim Kennedy. Photo by Esther Lin/Strikeforce.
Former middleweight title challenger Tim Kennedy will lock horns with American Kickboxing Academy product Luke Rockhold and undefeated lightweight Billy Evangelista will face well-traveled veteran Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce's March 5 event at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Strikeforce officially announced the matchups for the show's televised main card today. A pair of title bouts featuring Rafael Feijao vs. Dan Henderson and Marloes Coenen vs. Miesha Tate will headline.
Kennedy, an American military veteran, was originally slated to meet Jason "Mayhem" Miller in a third bout between the two, but the matchup was apparently scrapped over the weekend.
From the International Fight League’s World Grand Prix Finals event in December 2007, here’s Army veteran Tim Kennedy, who will be in action against undefeated prospect Zac Cummings at this weekend’s Strikeforce Challengers show, facing Elias Rivera.
“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.
Ryan McGivern grapples with Fabio Leopoldo at an IFL event in September 2007. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
Tim Kennedy will reportedly bow out of his scheduled International Fight League middleweight title bout against current champion Matt Horwich and will likely be replaced by Miletich Fighting Systems middleweight Ryan McGivern.
The fight is slated to happen at the IFL’s “New Blood New Battles” event on February 29th, which will take place at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
The news comes from Five Ounces of Pain, who also report that the IFL is expected to make a formal announcement concerning the change at some point this week.
McGivern fought and defeated Horwich by unanimous decision at the IFL Championship Finals in December 2006. While an official reason as to why Kennedy will be unable to compete at the event, it is speculated that he is tied in to a military commitment.
NEW YORK - IFL titleholders Matt Horwich, Roy Nelson and Ryan Schultz will defend their belts when the International Fight League opens its 2008 schedule with an eight-bout card at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Friday, February 29.
In addition to the three Championship bouts, team competition will feature Matt Lindland?‘s Team Quest vs. Ken Shamrock?‘s Lions Den and Team Xtreme Couture vs. Mario Sperry?‘s MMA Top Team.
Horwich, who claimed the middleweight title with a victory over Benji Radach at the IFL World Grand Prix on December 29, will defend his crown against Tim Kennedy who won all three of his IFL matchups in 2007 with first or second-round finishes.
Nelson, who knocked out Antoine Jaoude to win the heavyweight crown, will take on IFL newcomer Fabiano Scherner, who trains with Lindland at Team Quest. Schultz, whose lightweight victory over Chris Horodecki raised eyebrows in the entire MMA community, makes the first defense of his lightweight belt against John Gunderson, who competes for the Lions Den.
?“This card is a good example of how the flexibility of our new format makes for great matchups,? said IFL Commissioner Kurt Otto. ?Fans will get to see three Championship bouts, plus some exciting team competition feeding some of our upcoming title fights.?”
Provided by IFL. Getty Images.
UNCASVILLE - Ryan ?“The Lion? Schultz” knocked out previously undefeated 20-year-old Chris ?“The Polish Hammer”? Horodecki, capping off an exciting night of action with Schultz winning the lightweight championship at the inaugural International Fight League World Grand Prix finals, held tonight in front of 5,731 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Four other championship fights also took place, including victories by Roy ?“Big Country” Nelson at heavyweight, Wagnney Fabiano at featherweight, Jay Hieron at welterweight, and Matt Horwich at middleweight.
The five championships were the most ever contested on one night in North American MMA history.
Schultz took control early in the first round and continued to pound Horodecki before the referee stepped in late in the round to stop the bout. Schultz had been named a late replacement in the title bout after injuries to Horodecki?‘s previous two opponents.
We will be going live at 7:30 PM EST with live results of the IFL World Grand Prix Finals which are taking place this evening at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
The event features three preliminary bouts and five title fights including a rematch between Ryan Schultz and lightweight phenom Chris Horodecki for the IFL Lightweight Title.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the night.
Live results are shown after the jump.
Photos courtesy of the IFL.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s IFL Grand Prix Finals are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
Chris Horodecki (153 lbs) vs. Ryan Schultz (153 lbs)
Benji Radach (184 lbs) vs Matt Horwich (183 lbs)
Jay Hieron (168 lbs) vs. Delson Heleno (168 lbs)
Roy Nelson (258 lbs) vs. Antoine Jaoude (253 lbs)
L.C. Davis (143 lbs) vs. Wagnney Fabiano (144 lbs)
Marcello Salazar (180 lbs) vs. Alex Cook (180 lbs)
Brett Cooper (169 lbs) vs. Rory Markham (170 lbs)
Elias Rivera (181 lbs) vs. Tim Kennedy (186 lbs)