Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialists Jorge Gurgel (15-5) and Joe “Hybrid” Duarte (9-2) will collide in the main event of STRIKEFORCE Challengers on Friday, Aug. 12, from the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
The card will also feature a 155-pound contest between Pat “Bam Bam” Healy (26-10) and Eric Wisely (17-5), plus an additional three televised fights that will be announced in the weeks to come.
“I’m so excited to be headlining this STRIKEFORCE Challengers card in Las Vegas, the home of MMA,” said Gurgel, a tested veteran who has also fought seven times in the UFC. “Everybody knows that when I fight, I bring it every time. This is going to be a fight that every fan goes home happy about and remembers for a very, very long time.”
“This is the most excited I’ve ever been for a fight,” Duarte, who has been to a decision only once in his career, said. “When I found out about the matchup with Gurgel, I couldn’t say no, and when I found out that it was in Vegas it just made it that much better. Jorge is a guy that’s been around for a long time and I respect him for what he’s done for the sport. He doesn’t put on boring fights and neither do I, so the fans at the Palms can expect a great show from two of the best on August 12.”
Tickets for STRIKEFORCE Challengers, which is presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, are priced at $150, $85 and $50 and go on sale Saturday, July 2 at 12 p.m. PT. Tickets will be available at the Pearl box office, online at ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Ticket prices do not include service charges.
UFC Fight Club members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Thursday, June 30 starting at 10 a.m. PT via UFCFightClub.com. A special internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers and Strikeforce Insider subscribers on Friday, July 1 starting at 10 a.m. PT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com or the Strikeforce Insider through Strikeforce.com.
Coming off a 44-second submission victory this past March, Gurgel, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black, is looking to once again show MMA fans that he’s a force in the lightweight division. The four-fight STRIKEFORCE veteran and former two-time UFC Fight of the Night winner, fighting out of West Chester, Ohio, is more than ready for August 12 when he meets the always dangerous Duarte.
Originally from Dededo, Guam, and now fighting out of San Diego, Calif., Duarte is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt who enlisted in the U.S. Army during the early years of his amateur MMA and boxing career. Following two tours of duty in Iraq, Duarte decided to turn pro in MMA and is currently riding a four-fight win streak, including a submission win over Saad Awad at STRIKEFORCE: DIAZ vs. DALEY in April.
Former UFC and WEC veteran Healy, fighting out of Portland, Ore., now makes his home in the STRIKEFORCE lightweight division. The St. Louis native holds notable wins over Paul Daley, Dan Hardy, Carlos Condit and Lyle Beerbohm to name a few. He’ll look to add another win when he meets Clinton, Iowa’s Wisely. The Team Conquest product holds recent victories over Hermes Franca and Matt Veach and is hoping to leave the cage with his fifth straight win.
For more information or the latest STRIKEFORCE news, visit www.strikeforce.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
Owned and operated by Forza, LLC, a subsidiary of Zuffa, LLC, which also owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship brand, STRIKEFORCE is a world-class mixed martial arts promotion based in San Jose, Calif. that currently holds 16 live events annually across the United States. First established as a mixed martial arts entity in 2006, STRIKEFORCE now broadcasts its events live on Showtime Networks, Inc. and has produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network. With a growing roster featuring the world’s elite competitors, STRIKEFORCE has cemented its place as a leader in providing quality mixed martial arts action.