NEW YORK (April 22, 2010) – Former Rickson Gracie protégé and highly confident middleweight (185 pounds) “King” Kevin Casey (3-1) of Los Angeles will face the toughest test of his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career when he faces former Olympic wrestling silver medalist and MMA superstar Matt “The Law” Lindland (21-7) of Oregon City, Ore., in the STRIKEFORCE Challengers main event at Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore. on Friday, May 21.
A welterweight (170 pounds) battle between undefeated rising star “Relentless’’ Roger Bowling (7-0) of Columbus, Ohio, who’ll be making his STRIKEFORCE debut, and hard-hitting brawler “Vicious” Bobby Voelker (21-7) of Kansas City, Kan., has been added to the card.
In previously announced matchups, promising, unbeaten welterweight Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley (6-0) of St. Louis will face local favorite Nathan Coy (8-2) of Portland while Kerry Vera (2-0), of San Diego, Calif., and Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Pena (2-0) of Spokane, Wash., will collide in a battle of 135-pound female prospects.
Tickets are on sale at the Rose Garden Box Office, all participating Safeway/TicketsWest outlets, or by calling (877) 789-ROSE (7673). They also can be purchased online at www.ComcastTIX.com and STRIKEFORCE’s official website (www.strikeforce.com).
Casey, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert schooled by famed master Rickson Gracie, won his first start in 13 months with a dominant, first round (1:41) submission (rear-naked choke) of Chad Vance at STRIKEFORCE: Challengers last Nov. 20 in Kansas City.
The multi-talented Casey is also a hip-hop artist as well as a friend and business partner of MTV reality series superstar and Beverly Hills socialite, Spencer Pratt. Casey recently recorded the single, “No Surrender.”
Lindland captured the silver medal in Greco Roman wrestling while representing The United States at the 2000 Summer Olympics. A former All-American wrestler for University of Nebraska and the 1993 NCAA Big Eight conference champion, the 39-year-old will look to return to his winning ways after suffering two consecutive defeats.
The six-foot Lindland lost his last outing on a first- round submission (arm triangle choke) to superstar Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at STRIKEFORCE: Evolution on Dec. 19, 2009. During a stellar 13-year MMA career, Lindland has fought the best, including the famed Fedor Emelianenko, and has triumphed over a number of all-time greats, among them former UFC champions Pat Miletich and Carlos Newton.
Two years ago, Lindland entered the world of politics, winning the Oregon Republican Party’s nomination for the House of Representatives before being defeated in the general election.
Nothing short of a wrecking machine, Bowling has been rolling since making his MMA debut in June 2007. The five-foot-nine, 28-year-old registered six consecutive first-round victories at the outset of his career before he had to settle for a 0:14, second-round TKO (punches) over Jerrod Appenzeller in his last start last Feb. 10.
The six-foot-one Voelker, who specializes in American Jiu-Jitsu, has won four of his last five fights, including a dramatic, come-from-behind second-round TKO (punches) over Erik Apple at the STRIKEFORCE: Challengers event last Nov. 20 in Kansas City.
A pro since February 2006, Voelker was rocked and dropped early in the opening round. But the momentum began to change by midway through the five-minute session.
Near the conclusion of the round, Voelker had assumed control, dropped Apple with an overhand right early in the second, pounced on his crumpled opponent and brought about a stoppage at the 1:23 mark of the round.
Rose Garden Arena doors will open for the STRIKEFORCE Challengers event at 5:15 p.m. The first preliminary card bout will begin at 6 p.m. and the first main card bout will begin at 8 p.m.
The event will be televised live on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).