Elder Villefort Returns at Strikeforce Challengers 18


Danillo Villefort will make his Strikeforce debut on Aug. 12, when the Brazilian middleweight collides with former Bellator talent Nate James at Strikeforce Challengers 18.

Villefort’s management announced the news Wednesday. Sherdog.com previously reported James’ participation in the event, which will emanate from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Headlined by a lightweight scrap between Jorge Gurgel and Joe Duarte, the evening’s main card will air live on Showtime.

Villefort was slated to make his Strikeforce debut on June 24 alongside his younger brother, Yuri Villefort, but both siblings were forced to withdraw from the event. While Yuri underwent knee surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus, Danillo has recovered quickly from a minor neck injury.

“I’m excited to get back in the cage,” the elder Villefort stated in a release. “My whole team is behind me and I am 100-percent ready to go.”

Villefort will ride a four-fight win streak into the bout. The Imperial Athletics representative won thrice in 2010, besting Strikeforce veteran Joey Villasenor and most recently outpointing former IFL titleholder Matt Horwich in March.

In James, Villefort faces a five-year MMA veteran. The American Kickboxing Academy product made his first and only Bellator appearance in April, falling by split decision to Tyler Stinson. James has won three of his last four bouts and has finished half of his career victims by knockout or submission.

“I’m sure [James] is going to be ready, but my job is to beat him down,” said Villefort. “I’m going to make a statement to let all the 185-pounders know I’m here and that I’m going to take over the middleweight division, starting on Aug. 12.”

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