Gurgel-Duarte Official as Strikeforce Challengers 18 Headliner

By Mike Whitman Jun 29, 2011
A rumored lightweight scrap between Jorge Gurgel (pictured) and Joe Duarte has been made official as the headlining attraction of Strikeforce Challengers 18.

After initial reports of the pairing surfaced last week, Strikeforce confirmed the matchup on Tuesday. Little is known about the card at this time, but the event is scheduled to go down Aug. 12 from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Gurgel has split his last four bouts, going 2-2 in the Strikeforce cage since departing the UFC in 2008. The Brazilian debuted in the hexagonal cage the following year, defeating Conor Heun by decision. Back-to-back defeats would follow, as the 34-year-old dropped bouts to Billy Evangelista and K.J. Noons, respectively.

Gurgel returned to his winning ways in 2011, quickly choking out Billy Vaughan in their March confrontation at Strikeforce “Feijao vs. Henderson.”

Duarte, 27, rides a four-fight winning streak heading into his showdown with Gurgel. The Guamanian is a Bellator veteran and recently made his Strikeforce debut in April, submitting Saad Awad with an armbar at “Diaz vs. Daley.” A BJJ brown belt, Duarte owns over half of his career wins by submission.
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