Juarez-‘Chalate,’ McKee-Bradney Top Aug. 26 CFC Card in Sydney

By Chris Nelson Aug 8, 2011
Bodyshop Fitness Team stablemates Antonio McKee and Jesse Juarez will occupy the top slots on this month’s card from Cage Fighting Championship, officials from the Australian promotion have announced.

Set to take place Aug. 26 at Big Top Stadium in Sydney’s Luna Park, CFC 18 “Juarez vs. Rodriguez” will be headlined by Juarez’s first defense of his CFC 170-pound title. Looking to steal the American’s strap will be Australia’s top welterweight, once-beaten ground specialist Manuel “Chalate” Rodriguez.

In the show’s lightweight co-main event, McKee will see his first action since January when he tangles with Aussie “Tooth Fairy” Jai Bradney.

Juarez (Pictured) captured the vacant CFC belt in April 2010 with a five-round majority decision over local favorite Justin Murray. It was the Californian’s ninth consecutive victory, but things have not gone well since then for Juarez, who will enter his defense on a two-fight losing skid. In November, Juarez was submitted by Douglas Lima in a bid for the Maximum Fighting Championship welterweight title; in June, he suffered a hand injury and was forced to retire after one round against Josh Neer in the main event of Shark Fights 16.

The 26-year-old Rodriguez earned his shot at Juarez in March by outpointing Rodney MacSwain, his second decision win over the New Zealand export. Training under Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Bernardo “Trekko” Magalhaes at Sydney’s TP Fight Team, Rodriguez has racked up six of his eight career victories by way of submission.

Since his January release from the UFC, McKee, 41, has been scheduled to take part in multiple bouts, all of which have fallen through. Knee surgery forced the “Mandingo” from a June defense of his MFC lightweight belt against Drew Fickett, but McKee is now expected to return to the Canadian organization for a November title tilt with Brian Cobb.

McKee’s opponent, Bradney, announced his retirement in March following a submission loss to Shane Nelson, but has returned to win three in a row, including a four-man, one-night tournament in July.

Other CFC 18 matchups of note will see unbeaten 20-year-old Robert Whittaker squaring off against the streaking Corey Nelson at welterweight and Australian national judo champion Priscus Fogagnolo taking on BJJ stylist Andrew Profilli at light heavyweight.
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