Strikeforce announced today that its Oct. 25 "Challenger Series" main event between Jorge Gurgel and American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) standout Billy Evangelista has been rescheduled for Nov. 6 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.
Gurgel scored a unanimous decision win over Conor Heun in his debut for the promotion last June. 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 raised after the three-round war, 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 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" 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 appealed the loss after video footage appeared to indicate that his errant blows landed on Aina’s shoulder area and the ruling was eventually changed to a "No Contest" (NC) by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).
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 Nov. 6 fight card as it becomes official.