Thursday, April 21, 2011

June 18 Strikeforce event gets Gina Carano, Del Rosario vs. Cormier, and Overeem vs. Griggs

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

For the second leg of the Strikeforce Heavyweight World Grand Prix on June 18 in Dallas, Texas, the organization is following suit on the February event's first set of quarterfinals, as they announced during Saturday's "Diaz vs. Daley" broadcast on Showtime the addition of two more heavyweight fights to the event.

Tournament quarterfinal fights in Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers will now be joined by Valentijn Overeem against Chad Griggs and Shane Del Rosario against Daniel Cormier.

In addition to those two fights, women's MMA star Gina Carano will return to MMA for the first time since August of 2009.

Overeem, Griggs and Del Rosario all competed on the February card, headlined by the Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva quarterfinal bout, picking up victories over Ray Sefo, Gianpiero Villante and Lavar Johnson, respectively.

The Del Rosario-Cormier bout pits two of Strikeforce's top prospects against one another. Both undefeated, Del Rosario and Cormier have been showcased on Showtime in several fights each, and the winner puts themselves into the thick of things in Strikeforce's heavyweight division, if it doesn't lead outright to an entrance into the UFC.

A former Olympic wrestler, Cormier made the move to MMA in late 2009, and stopped his first six opponents before winning a decision over Devin Cole in January.

Del Rosario has stopped all 11 of his opponents, ten of which he's finished inside the first round. In his bout with Johnson in February, he pulled off an armbar at 4:31 of the first round, his second submission win in three fights in Strikeforce.

Penick's Analysis: These are two more very good heavyweight fights for Strikeforce. The Del Rosario-Cormier fight in particular is fantastic for both heavyweights, who have shown a lot of promise as the next level under the elite of Strikeforce's heavyweights. It will be an interesting card with four heavyweight fights sandwiching the return of Gina Carano, but it should provide for plenty of action on Showtime and should be a very good fight card for Strikeforce in Texas.


Ricardo Arona  Noboru Asahi Marcus Aurelio  Mikhail Avetisyan

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