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Jorge Gurgel vs. Joe Duarte headline Strikeforce Challengers 18 on Aug. 12 in Las Vegas

BJJ black belt Jorge Gurgel (left) and Joe Duarte will headline Strikeforce Challengers 18 on Aug. 12 LIVE on Showtime.

BJJ black belt Jorge Gurgel (15-5)  will face Joe “Hybrid” Duarte (9-2)  in a lightweight match-up in the Strikeforce Challengers 18 main event on Friday, Aug. 12, from the Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nev.

The event will broadcast LIVE on Showtime at 11 p.m. ET / PT (delayed on the West Coast).

Gurgel, age 34, is 2-2 inside the Strikeforce cage since making a successful promotional debut with a unanimous decision win over Conor Heun in June 2009.

Following the win over Heun, Gurgel had back to back losses against Billy Evangelista and KJ Noons, however, bounced back with a first round submission win over Billy Vaughn in March of this year.

Gurgel commented on the match-up with Duarte:

“I’m so excited to be headlining this Strikeforce Challengers card in Las Vegas, the home of MMA. 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.”

Duarte, a 27-year-old Guam transplant, made his Strikeforce debut with a second round armbar submission win over Saad Awad in April. The San Diego fighter is currently on a four fight win streak.

Duarte was selected as a contestant on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter but lost in the elimination round to Phillipe Nover.

Duarte spoke about facing the veteran Gurgel:

“This is the most excited I’ve ever been for a fight. 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.”

In addition to Gurgel vs. Duarte, Strikeforce Challengers 18 will also feature a 155-pound contest between Pat “Bam Bam” Healy (26-10) and Eric Wisely (17-5), plus three additional Showtime-televised fights that will be announced at a later date.

Fight fans can always refer to ProMMAnow.com’s Upcoming Events page to stay up to date with the latest fight card info.

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