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Strikeforce Challengers: 'Evangelista vs Gurgel' recap and post-fight discussion

Strikeforce's weekend of mixed martial arts action is officially halfway over as "Challenger Series IV" is now in the books from the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.

Former UFC lightweight fighter and jiu-jitsu stud Jorge Gurgel squared off against hometown favorite Billy Evangelista in the night's main event, and as expected it was an all out war.

Gurgel is known for abandoning his ground game in favor of a more entertaining stand up fight, which usually means a good scrap for the fans and a close loss on the scorecards for him, which is exactly what happened again tonight.

Evangelista traded blow for blow with the Cincinnati resident and used timely takedowns to squeak out a judge's decision.

Afterward, the undefeated hometown winner was asked how he felt about a potential match up with Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh "The Punk" Thomson, and he surprisingly didn't seem too warm on the idea, stating that he and Josh were friends but he would do whatever Strikeforce wanted.

We'll have to wait and see how the Strikeforce brass handles that scenario, but a Josh Thomson vs. Billy Evangelista title fight certainly sounds like it would be a fun one to watch.

In the night's co-main event, heavyweight Shane Del Rosario overcame an early knockdown by Brandon Cash "Money" to come back and win by submission (omoplata). At one point the onslaught from Cash appeared to be swaying the referee to step in for the stoppage, but Del Rosario hung in there and recovered nicely for the win.

He'll certainly be a player in the crowded Strikeforce heavyweight division moving forward.

"Ultimate Fighter" castoff Jesse Taylor made his second appearance on a Strikeforce card in 2009, and for the second time he came up on the losing end. Luke Rockhold -- a very talented wrestler and jiu-jitsu practitioner -- fended off a powerful wrestling attack from "JT Money," who came out of the gates looking for the takedown. Rockhold eventually worked his way into a dominate position and finished Taylor off with his patented rear naked choke, his fourth in a row.

Merritt Warren and Zoila Frausto were also winners on the Showtime televised portion of the card, defeating Ousmane Thomas Diagne and Elisha Hellspur by first round heel hook and unanimous decision, respectively.

To check out the complete results from Strikeforce: "Challenger Series IV" click here.

That's a wrap from the Save Mart Center in Fresno.

The fifth installment of the "Challenger Series" is slated for November 20 at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. That card is set to feature a main event between undefeated two-time All-American wrestler from the University of Missouri, Tyron "T-Wood" Woodley and Kansas City's own Rudy Bears. The female version of the main event from UFC 105 is also scheduled for the card as Kim "Sugar Free" Couture squares off with Kerry Vera.

Keep it locked to for all your Strikeforce news and notes. And don't forget to check in early and often tomorrow night for the blockbuster "Fedor vs. Rogers" coverage as well.

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