File Photo: Sherdog.com
Japanese superstar Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will make his promotional debut in a preliminary matchup against King of the Cage veteran Federico Lopez at Strikeforce “Heavy Artillery” on May 15 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Thirteen fights are now official for the event, which will air live on Showtime.
Yamamoto will carry a two-fight losing streak, the longest of his career, into the match. The 33-year-old son of an Olympic wrestler has never fought on the United States mainland. He last appeared on New Year’s Eve, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Sengoku featherweight champion Masanori Kanehara under the K-1 banner. Yamamoto holds notable wins over Jeff Curran, Caol Uno, Rani Yahya and reigning Dream featherweight titleholder Bibiano Fernandes. He has nine first-round finishes among his 17 career victories.
Honed by Team Quest, Lopez, like Yamamoto, has lost back-to-back fights. He has not competed since December, when Chucky Mady stopped him in 12 seconds at a Raw Power show in Bahrain. Four of Lopez’s six professional bouts have ended inside one round.
Meanwhile, a light heavyweight showdown between Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Antwain Britt will round out the main card for the event.
A training partner of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Cavalcante bounced back from his surprising loss to Mike Kyle with a second-round technical knockout against Aaron Rosa at Strikeforce “Challengers 5” in November. The 29-year-old Brazilian has never gone the distance in 10 professional appearances.
Britt has posted four wins in five fights. The Virginia Beach, Va.-based light heavyweight made his Strikeforce debut in December, when he stopped Scott Lighty on a first-round TKO. An eight-second knockout victory against UFC veteran Antonio Mendes highlights his resume.
A heavyweight tile bout between champion Alistair Overeem and Brett Rogers will headline “Heavy Artillery.” Overeem has not defended the belt since he won it in November 2007. In the co-feature, former UFC heavyweight king Andrei Arlovski will collide with Antonio Silva.