Roger Bowling (red gloves) vs. Bobby Voelker: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Unbeaten welterweight prospect Roger Bowling will toe the line against Bobby Voelker in the Strikeforce Challengers 11 headliner on Oct. 22 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. Strikeforce officials on Monday announced the matchup.
Bowling defeated Voelker by technical decision in their first encounter five months ago. He was ahead 29-28 on all three scorecards when an unintentional eye poke left him unable to continue 1:38 into round three.
“It was unfortunate and frustrating my last fight had to finish that way,” Bowling said in a release. “I felt it ruined the first couple rounds that I worked really hard for, but it was just one of those things that can happen. If you get poked in the eye, you can’t open it. And if you can’t open your eye, they’re not going to let you fight.”
Voelker wants to pick up where their first bout left off.
“It’s an unfortunate thing,” Voelker said. “We had a great war and we just wanted to end it with a great war in the last 3:22. Things happen, accidents happen. He wasn’t able to see and couldn’t continue. He won the first two rounds, so he got the decision.”
Bowling, who has not competed since, trains out of the Vision MMA camp in Cincinnati. The 27-year-old Neville, Ohio, native finished seven of his first eight professional foes and sports nine-, 28- and 41-second wins on his resume. A former Revolution Fight League champion, Bowling owns notable victories against Shamar Bailey and UFC veteran Seth Baczynski, having stopped both in less than half a minute.
Based in Olathe, Kansas, Voelker has secured more than half (13) of his 22 career wins by knockout, technical knockout or submission. The 31-year-old, who has never lost back-to-back fights, earned a split decision over Cory Devela at Strikeforce Challengers 9 in July. Victories against HIT Squad representative CJ Fernandes and UFC veteran Kyle Bradley anchor Voelker’s resume.
Meanwhile, the undefeated Billy Evangelista will lock horns with King of the Cage veteran Waachiim Spiritwolf in a 165-pound catchweight duel.
Evangelista has not entered the cage since he outpointed Jorge Gurgel en route to a unanimous decision at Strikeforce Challengers 4 in November. Spiritwolf last appeared on Sept. 4, when he dropped a unanimous nod to former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Delson Heleno under the Art of Fighting banner in Jacksonville, Fla.