Billy Evangelista vs. Marlon Sims Strikeforce fight booked
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 cast member and legendary (in his own mind) street brawler Marlon Sims (3-2) is set to return to action against super tough up-and-comer Billy Evangelista (5-0) in a 155-pound bout this weekend on the Strikeforce: “Shamrock vs. Cung Le” under card.
No major site is reporting this match up — not even ProElite.com or Strikeforce. However, Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz today confirmed the showdown with MMAmania.com.
Sims has had one fight since his backyard brawl with Noah Thomas on the set of TUF 5, losing to Pat Minihan via submission (rear naked choke) in December 2007. Evangelista, on the other hand, has been turning heads on the local Fresno, Calif., scene with his undefeated record and fantastic promise.
Don’t expect this one to go the distance.
"Strikeforce on NBC" Officially Announced
The series debut is set for Saturday, April 12 from 2-2:30 a.m. ET.
"Mixed martial arts has exploded onto the sports scene," stated Jerry Petry, Executive Vice President, NBC Universal Television. "Its athletes are tremendous competitors, and the sport is one of the fastest growing in the world. As a leader in this arena, Strikeforce will be able to deliver some of the finest and most intense action ever seen on broadcast TV."
The show will air in its weekly timeslot after NBC's popular late-night program, "Poker After Dark." Network executives say that it was a natural lead-in program since the core audience (18-34 year old males) is so similar.
As MMAjunkie.com first reported, "Strikeforce on NBC" will feature complete fights from the Strikeforce archives, as well as other highlights and event footage. Additionally, the program will be used to spotlight some of the organization's more popular fighters.
Gilbert Melendez ready to make his mark
Suffering the first loss of his professional career in December 2007, Gilbert Melendez has been chomping at the bit to get back into competition. After multiple opponent changes, the current Strikeforce lightweight champion is ready to face Gabe Lemley on March 29 in San Jose, Calif.
Jensen to Replace Santos at Strikeforce/EliteXC
Former UFC fighter Ryan Jensen will replace (11-3) Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos (16-11) and will fight Joey Team Jackson product Joey Villasenor (24-6) at this weekend's Strikeforce/EliteXC show
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz confirmed the late replacement.
Frank Shamrock: Invincible, Invisible
Want a career in MMA? Go punch Tito Ortiz in the face.
Just ask Forrest Griffin (Pictures), who saw his stock rise considerably after a valiant near-win against the former UFC light heavyweight champion; or Chuck Liddell (Pictures), who colluded with Ortiz to set pay-per-view records for MMA attractions; or Lee Murray , a British thug who got slotted in main events for dropping Ortiz in a raucous London brawl, Lenny McLean-style.
Cyborg out of bout with Joey Villasenor
Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos is out of his scheduled bout against Joey Villasenor at next week’s Strikeforce and EliteXC co-promoted event on March 29 at the HP Pavilions in San Jose, Calif.
“He has been having visa problems in Brazil,” Strikeforce vice president Mike Afromowitz told MMAWeekly.com. “The delay in his arrival would jeopardize him getting licensed in time for the fight.”
Afromowitz was unsure why there were delays in the issuance of Santos’ visa, but the promotion had to make the determination to move forward with another opponent and not risk losing the bout altogether.
“There are a few guys that we are considering,” said Afromowitz, “but we’re still looking to finalize a replacement.” He was hopeful that an announcement would be forthcoming soon.
The Villasenor vs. Santos bout was scheduled to be part of the event’s five-fight telecast on Showtime. The main event features Frank Shamrock defending his Strikeforce middleweight championship against contender Cung Le.
Other televised bouts include Gilbert Melendez defending his Strikeforce lightweight belt against Gabe Lemley, Jake Shields vs. Drew Fickett for the first EliteXC welterweight title, and Nick Diaz fighting Spirit MC champion Jae Suk Lim.
The Battle for San Jose
There's a city in the South Bay known as a fight town.
Strip away the lard of a cushy but unique suburbia, and San Jose's bustling downtown remains with its frequent post-last-call tussles.
Double post/mods delete
So much for brotherly love.
Strikeforce world middleweight champion Frank Shamrock claims that his adoptive brother, UFC hall-of-famer Ken Shamrock, has done steroids "his whole life" and that the performance-enhacing drugs have given him a false of security.
Frank Shamrock-Cung Le conference call
Frank Shamrock, Cung Le, Jake Shields, Drew Fickett and Gary Shaw held a conference call for the EliteXC/Strikeforce card on March 29 in San Jose on Showtime.
Gary Shaw on the particulars for the first EliteXC card on CBS:
“There will be a CBS press release going out tomorrow, announcing when the first fight card is and announcing some of the fighters on that card. So I don’t want to pre-empt it. But it is much sooner than later. We think we have a great card put together. We’re very excited to be on CBS, and I think the announce team will surprise some people. It’s just exciting. This is just the single biggest thing that I think will happen to any fighter or MMA to have the ability to be seen by over 100 million eyeballs.”
To check out the entire rundown of the conference call and to listen to the audio, which is broken into four parts of about 10 minutes apiece, click this link:
Kazuo Misaki signs with Strikeforce
According to Inside MMA Kazuo Misaki has signed a two fight deal with Strikeforce.
Hopes of Misaki joining the DREAM MW GP and a possible rematch with Akiyama after their controversial first bout, are now left in serious doubt.
Strikeforce To Air Weekly on NBC
MMA Junkie breaks the broadcast MMA news again! According to them, Strikeforce has signed a deal with NBC:
The NBC-Strikeforce deal comes just weeks after CBS and ProElite, Inc. announced a formal partnership that will put four annual EliteXC events on primetime television. The first EliteXC-CBS event is expected to air in May. And though it won't be a live event, Strikeforce could actually beat EliteXC to the airwaves.
As part of the NBC deal, fight footage from past Strikeforce events will likely be shown in "highlights" shows, not unlike the Pride Fighting Championships shows that currently air on Fox Sports Net. The first Strikeforce show is expected to air in mid-April.
The program will likely air on late Saturday nights (early Sunday mornings) either immediately after or soon after the hit NBC series, "Saturday Night Live."
This is not as a big of a deal as the EXC/CBS deal, but it is a nice step for Strikeforce. Dana was never going to accept a saturday night late night timeslot to show old fights, negotiations between UFC and NBC never even really got started. If UFC does sign some kind of new deal, it will likely be with FOX or HBO.
Gilbert Melendez vs. Gabe Lemley Official for March 29
Strikeforce world lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (13-1) will defend his title against Extreme Challenge veteran Gabe Lemley (11-6) at a March 29 Strikeforce/EliteXC card.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz alert MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the card's latest booking. The event, which features a main event of Strikeforce world middleweight champion Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le, airs on Showtime.
The latest fight card now includes:
Champ Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le (for Strikeforce world middleweight title)
Jake Shields vs. Drew Fickett (FOR THE FIRST-EVER ELITEXC WALTERWEIGHT TITLE)
Champ Gilbert Melendez vs. Gabe Lemley (for Strikeforce world lightweight title)
Nick Diaz vs. Jae Suk Lim
Joey Villasenor vs. Evangelista Santos
Report: Nick Diaz vs. Jae ‘The Korean Ice Pick’ Lim fight set for March 29
Nick Diaz will return to action against Jae “The Korean Ice Pick” Lim (9-3) later this month on March 29 as a featured bout on the Shamrock vs. Cung Le card — an event that will be co-promoted by Strikeforce and ProElite — in San Jose, Calif., according to GracieFighter.com.
Diaz was penciled in to fight Muhsin Corbbrey on April 26 in Hawaii, however, we learned that the bout was eventually scratched during an exclusive interview with the Diaz brothers last month.
Lim just fought last Saturday in Japan, beating Yoon Young Kim in the second round via technical knockout. He last fought for EliteXC in November 2007 on the Renegade show, submitting Daniel Pinedo with a first round rear naked choke.
The Koreon Ice Pick is a pretty big 160 pounder. He’s listed as 176 pounds and his size could give Diaz some trouble come March 29. Lim is an aggressive fighter who has five submissions and three technical knockouts in his nine wins.
Even so, this is a fight Diaz should win on paper. We’ll call this a tune up fight for either his rematch with KJ Noons for the belt or his fight with Yves Edwards, depending on who wins the Noons/Edwards fight.
Gilbert Melendez not Fighting Cristiano Marcello on March 29
Contrary to recent reports, Strikeforce world lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (13-1) will not be fighting Chute Boxe jiu-jitsu coach Cristiano Marcello (4-2) at a March 29 EliteXC/Strikeforce event.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the fight was never booked and that a different opponent for Melendez could be named as early as today.
Melendez vs. Marcello
Masvidal injured, Chute Box Jits coach steps in...
Diesel Out, Cyborg In At Strikeforce/EXC
With Joe "Diesel" Riggs officially off the 3/29 Strikeforce/EliteXC event, Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos has been signed to face Riggs' original opponent, Joey Villasenor. This is only contingent on Santos not getting seriously injured during his fight at World Victory Road on March 5.
Injury Changes Strikeforce Card; “Semtex” Confirms Retirement
Strikeforce lightweight title-holder Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez was supposed to fight Jorge Masvidal at the Strikeforce/EliteXC March 29th event - but the fight has been cancelled due to a shin injury Masvidal received during “Strikeforce at the Dome” in Washington. The injury came in a fight against Ryan Healy, which Masvidal won by decision. A replacement could be named soon to battle Melendez since he is one of the top fighters on the card. Middleweight champ Frank Shamrock will put his title on the line against Cung Le in the highly-anticipated main event.
HDNet to Broadcast MFC Tonight, Strikeforce Tomorrow
HDNet, the all-high-definition cable station geared toward MMA, will broadcast two major MMA events this weekend: “Maximum Fighting Championship 15: Rags to Riches” tonight and “Strikeforce at the Dome” tomorrow.
Both events will be broadcast live.
The MFC show features a main event between Pete Spratt (17-10), a UFC veteran and “The Ultimate Fighter 4” cast member, and prospect Ryan Ford (4-0). The event takes place at River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton.
HDNet will air the event live from 9-12 p.m. ET.
Saturday’s Strikeforce event features a main event between NFL lineman-turned fighter/kickboxer Bob Sapp (9-2-1) and undefeated boxer Jan “The Giant” Nortje (1-5). Other bouts include Maurice Smith vs. Rick Roufus, Joe Riggs vs. Cory Devela, and Jorge Masvidal vs. Ryan Healy.
Should be a couple of good nights for fights, props to HDNet for getting more and more live MMA on TV for us. I'm hoping for a few quick stoppages on the MFC card as a guy that trains at my gym is fighting and it would be great if he gets some air time! Keep an eye out for Gavin Neil ,a really good MT guy (fighting Josh Groves) and give him a cheer if it makes it to air.