Jorge Gurgel announced today that he will headline the next Strikeforce Challenger Series event against American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) standout Billy Evangelista at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., on Oct. 25.
Gurgel scored a unanimous decision win over Conor Heun in his debut for the promotion last month. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt once again abandoned his ground game in favor of an all out slugfest.
This time, however, unlike in his UFC career, Gurgel had his hand rasied after a three-round, which Showtime commentator Mauro Ranallo classified as "a fight for the ages at 160 pounds."
The seven-fight Octagon veteran and former The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2 contestant snapped a two-fight losing skid with the performance and will look to string together consecutive wins for the first time since 2007.
Evangelista lost for the first time in his career to Mike Aina last night back in May. He was accused of "intentionally" (and illegally) kneeing the Hawaiian fighter in the head while he was down in the second round. "Iron" was said he was hurt and unable to continue, which forced referee to call a stop to the action on the recommendation of the cageside doctor.
Evangelista planned to appeal the loss after video footage appeared to indicate that his errant blows landed on Aina's shoulder area; however, the loss still stands.
Strikeforce Challenger Series serves as a proving ground to promote up-and-coming (and lesser known) fighters. The events are similar to what Elite XC used to promote with its SHO XC: "Challenger Series" on Showtime.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more on the fight card as it becomes official.