Strikeforce has secured the rights to Brazilian jui-jitsu black belt Milton Vieira. | Photo: Marcelo Alonso
Nine fights have now been greenlit for Strikeforce Challengers 18, as the promotion today announced that a preliminary lightweight contest between Sterling Ford and Milton Vieira will go down at the Aug. 12 event.
Headlined by a 155-pound scrap between former UFC talent Jorge Gurgel and onetime Bellator competitor Joe Duarte, Strikeforce Challengers 18 will emanate from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Ford rides a six-fight winning streak heading into his sophomore Strikeforce effort. The 25-year-old Washingtonian debuted with the Zuffa-owned promotion just six days ago, outpointing Brian McLaughlin at Challengers 17. Ford owns over half of his career wins by knockout or submission and has competed against such notables as Dave Jansen, Charles Bennett and Lloyd Woodard.
Vieira will make his Strikeforce debut on Aug. 12. The Brazilian has competed in M-1, Pride and Deep, as well as Shooto and Bitetti Combat during his decade-long pro career. Known as “Miltinho,” the Brazilian Top Team export has won four of his last five fights and rides back-to-back wins heading into his inaugural Strikeforce effort. Most recently, Vieira submitted Bruno Lobato with an anaconda choke at Bitetti Combat 9 on June 18.