Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Strikeforce Announces June 19th Challengers Show In Kent, WA

Mike Afromowitz sent along the following:

NEW YORK (May 5, 2009)-Middleweight (185 pound) wrecking machines “Smokin” Joey Villasenor (26-6) and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (16-12) will face off in the main event of a Strikeforce Challengers mixed martial arts (MMA) card at the all-new ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington on Friday, June 19.

Also enlisted for the card, thus far, are lightweight (155 pound) fan-favorite Jorge Gurgel (12-5), wrestling ace Dennis “Superman” Hallman (40-12-2), and Hallman protg Cory “The One” Devela (9-2).

Tickets for the event, priced from $30, go on sale at 10 a.m. PT this Friday, May 8 at the ShoWare Center Box Office (253-856-6999 or 877-840-0457), online at, and at

The live SHOWTIME telecast of the event will begin at 11 p.m. ET/PT (tape delayed on the west coast) and will include up to five bouts.

The 32-year-old Villasenor, a member of Greg Jackson’s elite fight team in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will look to extend his win streak to five consecutive bouts in what will be his first start of the year. The Mexican American boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stylist scored a punishing, first round knockout on “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni live on CBS’s “Saturday Night Fights” on May 31, 2008.

Likewise, Santos’ appearance will be his first of the year as well as his long-awaited debut in The United States. To date, the 31-year-old distinguished member of Brazil’s famed Chute Boxe fight squad and husband of Cris “Cyborg” has terrorized opponents in a host of major organizations overseas including Japan’s now defunct Pride Fighting Championship.

Santos’ last effort, a matchup with Siyar Bahadurzada in Tokyo, Japan on September 28, 2008, was cut short by an elbow injury that the Brazilian sustained only seconds into the contest.

Making his Strikeforce debut, the 32-year-old Gurgel, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt better known for his explosive, go-for-broke punching style, starred in the second season of Spike TV’s smash hit reality series, The Ultimate Fighter. Gurgel’s start will be his first since he dropped a three-round unanimous judges’ decision to Aaron Riley at UFC 91 on November 15, 2008.

Hallman, a former UFC championship challenger is, perhaps, best remembered for his two, first-round conquests of MMA legend Matt Hughes.

After a year and a half hiatus, the 33-year-old Hallman rekindled his rich, 12-year history in the sport with a first round submission of Danny Ruiz on March 21, 2009. In his sole Strikeforce appearance to date, Hallman made similar, quick work of Jeremiah Metcalf, forcing Metcalf to tap out to a heelhook at 1:39 of the first round of their meeting at San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion on November 16, 2007.

Hallman’s protg, the 24-year-old Devela is looking to return to the win column after being stopped by Terry Martin at Strikeforce’s second event at the world-famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California on September 20, 2008. The loss brought the middleweight’s seven-fight win streak to an end.

Devela pulled off a stunning upset of Joe “Diesel” Riggs at the first-ever Strikeforce event in Washington State on February 23, 2008. With a single slam in the first round of battle, Devela rendered Riggs unable to continue their matchup at Tacoma Dome.

Strikeforce’s affair at the Tacoma Dome marked the largest live gate in the history of any boxing, MMA, or kickboxing event in Washington State.

ShoWare Center doors will open for the Strikeforce Challengers event at 5:30 p.m. PT on June 19 and the first preliminary bout will begin at 6 p.m. PT.

Strikeforce Challengers is a proving ground for up-and-coming MMA fighters. It provides today’s top prospects with the opportunity to step-up their level of competition and demonstrate their ability in a nationally televised event.
About Strikeforce
Strikeforce is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, Strikeforce has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of Strikeforce, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose.

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