San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center will be the site to host the second Strikeforce event, the first under the California-based company’s flagship promotion, under the Zuffa banner. The main card is stacked from top to bottom with some of the biggest names in Strikeforce including Welterweight Champion “El Diablo” Nick Diaz (23-8), former UFC welterweight contender “Semtex” Paul Daley (23-10-2), lightweight kingpin “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez (18-2), Japanese superstar Tatsuya Kawajiri (26-5-2), “The Dream Catcher” Gegard Mousasi (24-3-1), and The Ultimate Fighter alum “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (15-9-1). Rounding out the star studded list is a match between Washington native wrestler “Fancy Pants” Lyle Beerbohm (15-1) and world class submission fighter “Tobikan Judan” Shinya Aoki (26-5). The match will mark the second time that the “10th Degree Black Belt of Flying Submissions” has fought in the United States in his illustrious career and will represent the continuing increase in the level of competition faced by Beerbohm. No match could better represent the increased quality of production and promotion brought by Zuffa as the opening bout of their first Strikeforce card.
Strikeforce lights up Austin, Texas this Friday, February 18 at the Cedar Park Center with it’s ShoMMA: Challengers 14 fight card. Featured in the main event, undefeated slick submission artist “Fancy Pance” Lyle Beerbohm (15-0) steps in against the well rounded veteran that is “Bam Bam” Patrick Healy (20-15) with both martial artists looking to take a step closer to being a lightweight title contender. The co-main event for the evening features the highly regarded “Natural Light” Ryan Couture (1-0) attempting to live up to his father’s name – UFC Hall of Famer and multiple-time champion “The Natural” Randy Couture (19-10) – by taking on Lee Higgins (2-0) a practically unknown fighter who has an outstanding ground game and hails out of Houston, Texas. The main card also showcases three other bouts with the likes of Brazilian-born and current Bryan, Texas resident Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and Judo brown belt Carlo Prater (24-8-1) versus NCAA wrestler Bryan Travers (12-2), Vale Tudo fighter “Bad Apple” Erik Apple (10-2) taking on Houston native and BJJ brown belt Ryan Larson (5-2), and Cesar Gracie Academy kickboxer David Douglas (5-2) vs. Austin’s all around fighter “The Ghost” Nick Gonzalez (16-9). All in all, Challengers 14 offers a solid night of outstanding prospects looking to make waves in the lower ranks of the Strikeforce promotion.
Strikeforce made its first trip to the state of Mississippi on Friday night, settling in the city of Jackson to host Challengers 12. The card housed a roster of talented fighters – including locals as well those who hailed from other countries – and did not disappoint fans. There were some long-fought battles, some that ended more quickly and in a glorious fashion, and one that ended abruptly in a rather tragic No Contest. Here, MMA Gospel recaps Strikeforce’s twelfth effort in their Challengers series.