SAN JOSE, CA - Unbeaten light heavyweight Lorenz "The Monsoon'' Larkin (fighting out of Riverside, Calif. / 8-0) will replace Satoshi Ishii and take on kickboxing specialist Scott "Lights Out'' Lighty (fighting out of San Luis Obispo, Calif./ 6-1) on the STRIKEFORCE® Challengers card on Friday, April 1, at Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif.
The event, which is presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, will air live on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Due to the recent natural disasters that struck Japan, Ishii, the 2008 Judo Olympic Games Gold Medalist, was unable to acquire a visa permitting him to leave his homeland in time for the fight. Taking his place is Larkin, a 25-year-old who has made quick work of his last five foes, winning all by stoppage inside three rounds. In his most recent outing, he registered a second round TKO over Mike Cook on Feb. 25.
"Lorenz is a talented, undefeated fighter whose aggression and power make him a threat in the light heavyweight division," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said. "He's in for a tough test against Scott Lighty, who has trained with some of the sport's best like Chuck Liddell. This is the biggest fight of his young career."
Larkin agrees with Coker's assessment and believes a win over Lighty in Stockton could propel him into the mix in the Strikeforce 205-pound division.
"This is definitely a step up for me, but I'm excited and looking forward to the challenge,'' Larkin said. "Lighty's a good fighter with a lot of experience. But I've trained hard, I'm in good shape and I'm confident.''
In the televised main event, former NCAA wrestling standout and body builder Justin "The Silverback'' Wilcox (10-3), of San Jose, will face Brazil's Rodrigo Damm (9-4) in a lightweight bout. In other fights on SHOWTIME: Rapidly-rising David "Tarzan" Douglas (6-2), of Antioch, Calif., will take on Caros "The Future" Fodor (7-2), of Kirkland, Wash., at 155 pounds, Josh Thorrnburg (6-2), of Stockton, and James Terry (9-2), of Livermore, Calif., clash at 165 pounds and Antioch's Damian Douglas (3-1), Tarzan's unidentical twin, meets Wayne Phillips (5-3), of San Jose, in a welterweight battle.
Tickets, starting at $20, are on sale at the Stockton Arena ticket office, online at www.StocktonTickets.com, by phone at (209) 373-1700 or (866) 373-7088 and STRIKEFORCE's official website (www.strikeforce.com).
The first non-televised, undercard fight will begin at 5:30 p.m. PT. Doors will open at 4:45 p.m.