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.”

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