Maybe Strikeforce‘s roster isn’t so thin after all. According to a new press release sent out by the fight league, Strikeforce will hold its second "Challengers" event at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington on Friday, June 19th — just two weeks after "Lawler vs. Shields" goes down in St. Louis — and a host of prominent names are already booked.
Headlining the Showtime card will be a middleweight bout between EliteXC/KOTC vet (and Team Jackson member) Joey Villasenor and Chute Boxe fighter Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, also known as Cris‘s husband. Smokin’ Joe is on a three-fight win streak, but hasn’t competed since his first-round knockout of Phil Baroni at EliteXC: Primetime a year ago. Santos, who has lost three of his last four matches, is coming back from a broken elbow he suffered 22 seconds into a Sengoku fight against Siyar Bahadurzada in September.
Elsewhere on the card, UFC lightweight vet Jorge Gurgel will be making his Strikeforce debut, reportedly against IFL/EliteXC/Bully Beatdown vet Conor Heun. Gurgel was released by the UFC after he suffered back to back losses to Cole Miller (at UFC 86) and Aaron Riley (at UFC 91), and has vowed to start using his jiu-jitsu again in Strikeforce. Heun has won his last three fights, but like Gurgel, he hasn’t competed since last fall; Heun most recently knocked out James Edson Berto at EliteXC: Heat.
Dennis Hallman and Cory Devela have also been booked for the event (against yet-unnamed opponents), and a lightweight bout between Duane Ludwig and Lyle "Fancy Pants" Beerbohm has been rumored as well.