Villefort Brothers Out, LaFlare In at Strikeforce Challengers 16

By Mike Whitman Jun 16, 2011
James Terry (Pictured) will headline Strikeforce Challengers 16 against Caros Fodor. | Photo: Dave Mandel

Neither Danillo nor Yuri Villefort will compete as originally anticipated at Strikeforce “Challengers 16.”

Both brothers have been forced from the card due to injury, confirmed with a source close to the fighters on Thursday. Danillo's opponent for the June 24 event, Antwain Britt, has also reportedly suffered an injury, prompting Strikeforce officials to remove the contest from the card.

Stepping up to face Yuri's opponent will be Ryan LaFlare, as the undefeated welterweight now meets Travis Bush in a preliminary contest. MMAJunkie first reported the change to the event's lineup. has learned that Yuri underwent knee surgery on Monday. According to a source close to the fighter, he will document his recovery in a weekly video blog. Danillo injured his neck and spine in training, but will not require surgery. With a few months of rest, the middleweight is expected to recover fully.

Headlined by a lightweight clash between James Terry and Caros Fodor, Challengers 16 will emanate from the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash. The event will also feature the return of Ryan Couture, as the son of “The Natural” locks horns with undefeated lightweight Matt Ricehouse. Additionally, powerful light heavyweight prospects collide on June 24, as Gian Villante meets Lorenz Larkin. Rounding out the main draw will be a battle of strikers, as Julia Budd toes the line against Germaine de Randamie in a 135-pound women's affair.

LaFlare will make his Strikeforce debut at the event, as the New Yorker has fought exclusively for the Ring of Combat promotion throughout his three-year pro career. The 27-year-old has never been to a decision, finishing all six of his career victims inside of two rounds. The welterweight most recently fought one year ago at ROC 30, knocking out Mike Medrano in the first frame.

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