The dance card for the next Strikeforce
event is beginning to take shape.
In addition to the expected heavyweight grand prix final between
Barnett and Daniel
Cormier, promotion officials Monday announced three other bouts
for the May 19 card, including a lightweight title tilt pitting
Melendez against Josh
Also, former Strikeforce light heavyweight king Rafael
“Feijao” Cavalcante will take on Mike Kyle,
Voelker will lock horns with Nah-Shon
Burrell in a welterweight bout.
Strikeforce “Barnett vs. Cormier” takes place at the HP
Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., with the main card airing on Showtime
beginning at 10 p.m. ET; the preliminary card will be shown
beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Showtime Extreme.
It was rumored that Melendez would face an imported UFC opponent
for his next title defense, but instead the Skrap Pack
representative will square off for a third time with Thompson. The
two first met in 2008, with “The Punk” retaining his Strikeforce
155-pound strap via five-round decision. They would rematch more
than a year later, with the interim champion Melendez unifying the
titles in a decision triumph of his own.
“El Nino” was victorious in his last outing, decisioning Jorge
Masvidal in December. The 29-year-old is regarded as one of the
best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and has won six straight
fights since falling to Thomson.
Thomson returned to the cage in March at Strikeforce “Tate vs.
Rousey,” his first appearance since since losing to Tatsuya
Kawajiri on New Year’s Eve 2010. The American Kickboxing
Academy product took a workmanlike victory over K.J. Noons in a
performance he would later describe as “s---.”
Cavalcante earned a second-round knockout of Yoel Romero Palaico
this past September after relinquishing his 205-pound crown to
Henderson more than a year ago. Feijao has finished 10 of his
11 victims by knockout or technical knockout.
Expected to face Gegard
Mousasi on the March 3 Strikeforce bill, Kyle was forced to
withdraw from the bout due to injury. A former King of the Cage
light heavyweight champion, Kyle has compiled a 3-3-1 mark fighting
for Strikeforce since 2006.
Voelker, a five-time veteran of the Challengers series, returns to
action for the first time since winning two straight contests
Bowling. A product of Finney’s MMA, Voelker has finished 15 of
his 24 career victories by knockout or technical knockout.
Beaten just once in nine in-cage appearances, Burrell last appeared
at Strikeforce “Rockhold vs. Jardine” in January, where he earned a
split-decision triumph against James Terry.
The 22-year-old Fight Firm representative also owns victories
Ray and Lukasz Les
while under the Strikeforce banner.