Noons vs. Evangelista Round Out "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal" Main Card
It would appear as if a four-fight main card has been set for December’s Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal event.
Strikeforce officials have paired off KJ Noons with Billy Evangelista in the latest main card booking for the show. Joining them on the card will be Mousasi vs. OSP, Cyborg vs. Yamanaka and of course the main event for the Strikeforce lightweight title, Melendez vs. Masvidal.
The event, which features many of the Strikeforce stars, takes place on December 17 from the Valley View Casino in San Diego. The main card will air on Showtime and feature a main event between Gilbert Melendez and Jorge Masvidal for the Strikeforce lightweight title.
Noons last saw action in a losing effort to Jorge Masvidal at “Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum” it was his first setback in the lightweight division in several years and lost him the opportunity to challenge Gilbert Melendez for the title.
Like his opponent, Evangelista last saw action against Jorge Masvidal back at the “Strikeforce: Columbus” show this past March. The AKA trained fighter was outpointed and suffered his first professional loss via decision.
Mousasi hasn’t seen stateside action since fighting to a draw with Keith Jardine earlier this year on the “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley” show. He was ahead and the judges’ score cards, however a point deduction for an illegal upkick in the first frame of action forced the judges to rule a majority draw.
St. Preux was last seen in the cage calling out Mousasi after his latest victory at Strikeforce Challengers 18 last month. The Knoxville Martial Arts Academy product is riding an eight-fight win streak and will now apparently take a huge leap in competition from his previous foes.
The mean and gritty Santos (10-1 MMA, 4-0 SF) fought twice for EliteXC before signing with Strikeforce. She then defeated Gina Carano for the vacant belt in one of the most viewed women’s fights of all time. Then she knocked out Marloes Coenen and Jan Finney in two straight title defenses.
Yamanaka brings in an eight-fight win streak and is largely considered one of Japans top female fighters. HE scheduled bout with Cyborg will be her debut in a major U/S. promotion.
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez last took the center of the cage against Japanese stand-out Tatsuya Kawajiri during the “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley” event this past April. The victory marked his fifth straight win, the past three of which were successful title defenses. After amassing a very respectable 19-2 professional MMA record, Melendez remains one of the highest ranked lightweight fighters in the world.
Masvidal was last seen in action in June at the “Overeem vs. Werdum” event where he gave KJ Noons all he could handle in route to a unanimous decision victory. The Miami based fighter used an array of striking mixed with takedowns to keep the accomplished Noons off guard and badly battered by the end of the third frame