(Cristiane and Evangelista’s high school class voted them "Most Likely to Push Your Shit In." Photo courtesy of Showtime Sports.)
No rest for the hardcore MMA fan: Strikeforce’s second "Challengers" event goes down this Friday at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington — a day before the TUF 9 finale in Las Vegas. Headlining the Strikeforce card will be a middleweight matchup between two exciting strikers: Team Jackson product “Smokin’” Joey Villasenor and Chute Boxe veteran Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. Both guys are coming off extended layoffs; Villasenor hasn’t competed since his first-round TKO win over Phil Baroni last May, and Santos is coming back from an elbow injury suffered in a Sengoku fight against Siyar Bahadurzada in September.
Also on the card: Highly-regarded welterweight Nick Thompson takes a middleweight fight against Tim Kennedy out of desperation, UFC vet Jorge Gurgel makes his Strikeforce debut against bully-beater Conor Heun, and Sarah Kaufman and Shayna Baszler will test out Strikeforce’s new five-minute-rounds policy in the night’s sole women’s feature. Not bad for premium cable. The full lineup is after the jump.
MAIN CARD (Showtime, 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT)
- “Smokin” Joey Villasenor (26-6) vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (16-12)
- Nick “The Goat” Thompson (38-10-1) vs. Tim Kennedy (9-2)
- Jorge Gurgel (12-5) vs. Conor “Hurricane” Heun (8-2)
- Sarah Kaufman (8-0) vs. Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler (9-5)
- Cory “The One” Devela (9-2) vs. Luke Rockhold (4-1)
- Dennis “Superman” Hallman (40-12-2) vs. Cedric “Spider Marks” Marks (26-18)
- Brian Caraway (10-3) vs. Alex Zuniga (2-1)
- Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm vs. Duane “Bang” Ludwig (18-8)
- Landon “The Show” Showalter (7-12-1) vs. Travis “The Praying Mantis” Doerge (4-8)
- Len Bentley (3-2) vs. Marques Daniels (1-2)
- Steve Hadsel (1-0) vs. Taylor Roberts (1-1)