James Terry (above) will confront Nah-Shon Burrell on Jan. 7. |
Photo: Jeff Sherwood
Seven fights have now been given the green light for
Strikeforce “Rockhold vs. Jardine,” as promotion officials
recently announced that Nah-Shon
Burrell will face James Terry
Smith will square off with Gian
The welterweight and light heavyweight bouts will precede a
five-fight main draw highlighted by the titular middleweight title
clash between Luke
Rockhold and Keith
Jardine. Airing on premium cable network Showtime, the Jan. 7
event emanates from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las
Just 21 years old, Burrell has only tasted defeat once as a
professional. Representing the Fight Firm in Philadelphia, Burrell
notched four wins in 2011, two of which came in the Strikeforce
cage over Joe Ray and
Les. The welterweight has never been finished and owns all but
one of his career wins by knockout.
Terry, 30, has won four of his last five. An eight-time Strikeforce
veteran, Terry had a three-fight winning streak snapped by rising
prospect Caros Fodor
in June’s Challengers 16 headliner. The five-year pro rebounded
from the loss, however, by knocking out Magno
Almeida three months later at Challengers 19.
Smith has won five-straight fights heading into his showdown with
Villante. The light heavyweight has emerged victorious in both of
his Strikeforce appearances to-date, putting Keith Barry to sleep
with a north-south choke at Challengers 16 before finishing
Cook with a guillotine on Nov. 18.
Previously regarded as one of Strikeforce’s best heavyweight
prospects, Villante made the cut to 205 pounds after suffering a
February knockout loss to Chad Griggs.
The Ring of Combat veteran was greeted rudely by Lorenz
Larkin in his light heavyweight debut, as the unorthodox
striker continually beat Villante to the punch en route to a
unanimous decision win. Villante rebounded from his back-to-back
losses by outpointing Keith Barry at Challengers 18 in August.