Strikeforce Finalizes ‘Challenger Series’ Lineup

By Brian Knapp Jun 17, 2009
In his first appearance outside of the UFC in more than four years, Jorge Gurgel will square off with highly regarded lightweight prospect Conor Heun at ShoMMA “Strikeforce Challenger Series 2” on Friday at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash.

The 32-year-old Gurgel (12-5) will carry a two-fight losing streak into the match and has lost three of his last four overall. He last appeared at UFC 91 in November when he dropped a unanimous decision to Pride Fighting Championships and International Fight League veteran Aaron Riley. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and longtime friend of former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, Gurgel has received criticism for his unwillingness to utilize his world-class ground skills in the cage.

Heun (8-2) has not fought since he stopped James Edson Berto on second-round punches and elbows at EliteXC “Heat” eight months ago. The 29-year-old lightweight has rattled off three consecutive victories since his split-decision loss to L.C. Davis in 2007. In fact, both of Heun’s defeats have come by split verdict. The Boulder, Colo., native has delivered five of his eight wins by submission.

A middleweight showdown between Joey Villasenor and Chute Boxe Academy standout Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos will headline the Strikeforce event, which will air on Showtime at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Other bouts on the card include a middleweight tilt pairing Nick Thompson with Tim Kennedy and a lightweight matchup pairing Duane Ludwig with the unbeaten Lyle Beerbohm.

ShoMMA “Strikforce Challenger Series 2”
Friday, June 19
ShoWare Center
Kent, Washington

Joey Villasenor vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos
Nick Thompson vs. Tim Kennedy
Jorge Gurgel vs. Conor Heun
Sarah Kaufman vs. Shayna Baszler
Cory Devela vs. Luke Rockhold
Dennis Hallman vs. Cedric Marks
Duane Ludwig vs. Lyle Beerbohm
Brian Caraway vs. Alex Zuniga
Landon Showalter vs. Travis Doerge
Len Bentley vs. Marques Daniels
Steve Hadsel vs. Taylor Roberts
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