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Thursday, 12/22/2011, 04:00 am

MMA NEWS – Strikeforce Adds Smith vs. Villante / Burrell vs. Terry To “ Rockhold vs. Jardine” Event in January


Two preliminary bouts have been added to the first Strikeforce event in 2012.

Light-heavyweights Trevor Smith and Gian Villante are set to face off as are welterweight’s Nah-Shon Burrell and James Terry.

“Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine” is set to take place on January 7 from The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Free on Showtime during their free preview weekend, middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is set to make his first title defense against the always tough UFC veteran, Keith Jardine.

Smith brings in a collegiate wrestling background and is considered a “grappling first” fighter. He now fights for the third time under the Strikeforce banner and holds previous submission wins over T.J. Cook and Keith Berry.

Smith faces Villante who made his promotional debut at heavyweight against a very gritty Chad Griggs. A highly touted prospect with a collegiate football career behind him, he has since moved to the light-heavyweight division where he has gone 1-1.

Burrell is a crafty up and comer who will make his third appearance for the promotion. He has so far been able to put together two Strikeforce wins in two appearances over the likes of Lukasz Les and Joe Ray. At 21 years-old he is building a reputation quickly as a knockout artist.

Burrell is now set to face Terry who is moving up a division for the match. He fights for the Strikeforce promotion for the ninth time in this upcoming bout and was last seen at Strikeforce Challengers 19 taking out Magno Almeida.

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