Strikeforce middleweights "Smokin" Joey Villasenor (26-6) and Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos (16-12) will face off in the main event of Strikeforce Challengers "Series 2" from the all-new ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington on Friday, June 19.
The Greg Jackson-trained Villasenor will look to extend his win streak to four consecutive bouts in his first match since knocking out "The New York Badass" Phil Baroni on CBS's "Saturday Night Fights" in May 2008.
His next bout was expected to be for the Elite XC middleweight title against "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler the following November until Pro Elite went belly up courtesy of a downed Kimbo Slice and some wanton check writing.
Like Villasenor, Cyborg hasn't seen action since the latter part of 2008. Santos threw hands twice under the Sengoku banner, going 1-1 and falling to Siyar Bahadurzada in his last match in September 2008.
"Series 2" will also feature Dennis "Superman" Hallman and Cory Devela along with The Ultimate Fighter 2 castaway Jorge Gurgel against yet-to-be-named opponents.
Strikeforce will debut its brand new "Challenger Series" on the premium cable network Showtime on May 15, which is designed to give up-and-coming, less heralded Strikeforce fighters an opportunity to do their thing in front of a large television audience.
Here’s a snip from company founder and CEO, Scott Coker, on SHO MMA:
"This is where the men — and women — will be separated from the boys, so to speak. The growth and future of our sport just got a turbo injection. For regional fighters and up-and-coming men and women looking to test themselves against other top prospects and get on the fast track to stardom, SHO MMA: Strikeforce Challengers is the place to do it. I can’t wait for this first event."
The ShoWare Center doors will open for the Strikeforce Challengers event at 5:30 p.m. PT on June 19 and the first preliminary bout will begin at 6 p.m. PT.