Jorge Gurgel. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Undefeated lightweight fighter Billy Evangelista will challenge UFC veteran Jorge Gurgel in the main event of the latest edition of Strikeforce Challengers, which will take place on November 6 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.
Strikeforce officials announced the matchup and the event itself in a press release sent out to the media this afternoon. The event’s five-bout televised main card will be broadcast live on Showtime starting at 11 PM ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Lightweight prospect Casey Olson, a product of California-based Palace Fighting Championships, will also step into the Strikeforce cage for the first time in three years against an opponent yet to be determined.
Evangelista was thought to have suffered his first professional loss via disqualification against Mike Aina at the inaugural Strikeforce Challengers event back in May. Following the bout however, California State Athletic Commission officials found that an illegal knee that referee Herb Dean ruled struck Aina in the head, actually landed on his shoulder. The CSAC promptly ruled the fight a no-contest.
After struggling to find consistency during a two-year plus stint with the UFC, Gurgel found success in his Strikeforce debut, grinding out an exciting, three-round unanimous decision over Conor Heun at Strikeforce Challengers II in June.
Olson, meanwhile is coming off of a first-round submission loss to veteran Eddie Yagin at PFC 13 on May 8. The loss snapped a four-fight winning streak for Olson, who submitted Bobby Sanchez in his only other Strikeforce bout to date in August 2006.
Tickets for this Strikeforce Challengers event officially go on sale to the general public at 10 AM PT on Monday, September 21. A special pre-sale ticket purchase opportunity will take place for “Strikeforce Insider” e-newsletter subscribers beginning at 10 AM PT on Wednesday, September 16 and ending at midnight on Sunday, September 20. The special pre-sale passcode will be sent out to all subscribers on Monday, September 14.