NEW YORK (March 2, 2011) – The STRIKEFORCE World Grand Prix — Heavyweight Tournament will continue on Saturday, June 18 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, LIVE on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
The date originally reserved for continuation of the three-stage, single-elimination tournament comprised of eight of the world’s top heavyweights, April 9, will now feature a terrific STRIKEFORCE World Championship Doubleheader from Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, Calif., formerly the San Diego Sports Arena.
In the second event of the tournament, STRIKEFORCE Heavyweight World Champion Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem (34-11, 1 NC) will face the only man to tap out MMA legend Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1) and the heavy-handed Brett “The Grim” Rogers (11-2) will take on former UFC World Champion Josh Barnett (29-5).
“STRIKEFORCE is coming off a record presale and impressive attendance for the kickoff of the Grand Prix at IZOD Center in New Jersey that also drew a record viewership on SHOWTIME for live MMA,” said STRIKEFORCE CEO Scott Coker. “To build on the tremendous momentum from New Jersey we needed the proper time to promote an event of this magnitude, which is why we have decided to continue the Tournament on June 18 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, a venue that has been identified as one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in the U.S.”
Coker continued: “We have a great relationship with the Texas State Athletic Commission, who, along with the American Airlines Center, is enthused to host the Grand Prix.”
STRIKEFORCE Welterweight World Champion Nick Diaz (24-1, 1 NC) will defend his title in a highly anticipated grudge match against the brawling Paul “Semtex” Daley (26-9-2) in the April 9 main event. Gilbert Melendez (18-2) will make the second defense of his STRIKEFORCE Lightweight World Title against the powerful Tatsuya Kawajiri (27-6-2). Also on the April 9 card is a bitter showdown between current DREAM Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi and Mike Kyle.
“We are fortunate to replace the April 9 date with a tremendous World Championship Doubleheader featuring the eagerly awaited showdown between Nick and Paul and the sensational matchup between Gilbert and Tatsuya,” Coker said. “This is a fight everyone has been waiting for and I’d like to thank DREAM for allowing Tatsuya to come to the U.S. to take on our Lightweight World Champion.”
For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive video, photos and news links on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and STRIKEFORCE mixed martial arts telecasts, along with access to the SHOWTIME Sports Facebook® and Twitter® pages, please go to http://Sports.Sho.com.
STRIKEFORCE (www.strikeforce.com) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose. In March 2009, STRIKEFORCE signed a multi-year agreement with SHOWTIME® to stage live events on the premium cable television network. The promotion has since also produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network.
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