Strikeforce: 'Overeem vs Werdum' preliminary fights to air live on HDNet

via cdn2.sbnation.com

It's not Spike TV, but it's free fights nonetheless ... if you get the channel, of course.

Strikeforce General Manager Scott Coker recently announced a partnership with HDNet to broadcast the entire preliminary fight card for the upcoming "Overeem vs. Werdum" event on June 18.

This isn't the first time these two have hooked up to provide fans with free combat. As recently as this past February, HDNet aired the preliminary card bouts on the "Fedor vs. Silva" card, with "The Voice" Michael Schiavello and Bas Rutten providing commentary.

Coker did not announce who would be in the booth this time around although that pairing appears to be the leading candidates for the show.

And which fights will they be calling?

For starters, Magno Almeida vs Conor Heun, Mike Bronzoulis vs. Todd Moore and Julie Kedzie vs. Amanda Nunes. Not bad.

But wait, there's more -- and better!

They'll also be broadcasting two extremely relevant lightweight match-ups as Gesias Cavalcante finally returns to action to take on Justin Wilcox, while K.J. Noons battles Jorge Masvidal in a number one contender fight.

Noons (10-3) saw his six-fight winning streak come to a halt when he was picked apart by Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz in their championship rematch contested at 170-pounds back in October. "King" Karl owned two previous wins for the Strikeforce promotion, a split decision over Conor Huen in "Los Angeles" followed by his second round slaughter of Jorge Gurgel in "Houston."

Can he get back to his winning ways against Masvidal?

After coming up short in a unanimous decision loss to Paul "Semtex" Daley under the Shark Fights banner, "Gamebred" (21-6) made a successful Strikeforce debut opposite Billy Evangelista back in March, punching his way to a sweep on the judges' scorecards despite a less-than-enthusiastic response from the Columbus crowd.

The Bellator and Sengoku veteran will have a chance to turn that around -- and stake his claim to the Melendez throne -- with an impressive win over Noons next month.

Who will earn the shot?

Gesias Cavalcante was rumored for every event this year before finally finding a home on June 18 in the "Lone Star State" opposite Justin Wilcox.

"JZ," once one of the most promising 155-pound fighters in the world, has registered just one win over the last three years. He'll look to start his 2011 fight campaign with a bang, though, and possibly earn himself a title shot in the process.

Justin Wilcox (11-3), who hasn't lost a fight since Sept. 2008 and won his last six in a row, is heavily rumored to be on the short list of candidates for the next challenger to Gilbert Melendez's title.

Obviously, with this fight booking, that goes out the window.

However, a victory -- especially an impressive one -- could very well set him up for a title shot later this year, potentially before the year is out.

Anyone think it happens? Care to see it if it does?

Strikeforce: "Overeem vs. Werdum" will feature the second leg of the heavyweight grand prix tournament with match-ups pitting Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers.

Gina Carano will make her highly anticipated return to action when she takes on Sarah D'Alelio.

For a complete run down of all the news and notes for "Overeem vs. Werdum" click here.

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