NEW YORK (Oct. 16, 2009) – Fresh off a sparkling victory on Sept. 25, budding superstar and two-time All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri, undefeated Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley (4-0) of St. Louis, will come back on Friday, Nov. 20, when he faces dangerous Rudy Bears (13-5) of Kansas City in the featured bout of an outstanding Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) card at historic Memorial Hall in Kansas City.
The highly regarded Woodley will be making his main event debut in the scheduled three-round, 5-minute welterweight (170 pounds) bout that will be one of five televised on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Non-televised bouts in an event presented by San Jose, Calif.-based STRIKEFORCE, in association with Shamrock Promotions, will begin at 8 p.m. CT. Doors open at 7:15 CT. Tickets, starting at $35, are available at the Memorial Hall ticket office, online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.
In other SHOWTIME fights, also slated for three, 5-minute rounds: Bobby Voelker (20-7), Kansas City, vs. Erik Apple (10-1), Newport Beach, Calif. (170 pounds); Aaron Rosa (12-2), San Antonio, Tex., vs. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante (7-2), Rio De Janeiro (205 pounds); and in 135-pound women’s fights, Kerry Vera (1-0), San Diego, Calif., vs. Kim “Sugar Free” Couture (1-1), Las Vegas, Nev., and undefeated Sarah Kaufman (10-0), Victoria, British Columbia, vs. Takayo Hashi (12-1), Japan.
In his last outing, Woodley registered an impressive second-round submission (armbar) over former Tito Ortiz protégé, Zach Light fight at the STRIKEFORCE Challengers event in Tulsa, Okla. A popular up-and-comer, the 5-foot-9, 27-year-old Woodley, the 11th of 13 children raised mostly by a single mother, has won all his fights by submission.
The streaking Bears has won six in a row – five inside the distance — and eight of his last nine. Bears, who is making his STRIKEFORCE Challengers debut, is coming off a second-round TKO (punches) over Brendon Seguin on Aug. 28,
The promising Feijao, who has won all seven of his outings by stoppage, will be trying to rebound from one of the year’s biggest upsets. In an off-TV match last June 6, he lost by second-round TKO (punches) to Mike Kyle in St. Louis.
“That was a very disappointing night, but I’ve put it behind me,” Feijao said. “I appreciate this opportunity and I’ll be ready to go on Nov. 20. I owe it to STRIKEFORCE and the fans to show what I can really do.”
Rosa, who turned pro in November 2005, won his initial 10 starts before losing two in a row. He has won his last two fights, including a first-round submission (rear-naked choke) over Anthony Ruiz on May 15, 2009, in Fresno, Calif. Eight of Rosa’s 12 career wins have come by stoppage.
The Feijao-Rosa scrap smacks with importance. The winner could be in line to face STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi.
Voelker has won three of his last four starts and six of eight. A pro since February 2006, more than half of Voelker’s victories (12) have been the result of knockout or TKO.
Apple will be appearing for the first time before a paying audience since scoring perhaps a career-best triumph – a second-round submission over promising Matt Makowski on Aug. 28, 2008. Apple’s pro debut came in April 2003 and he competed regularly through August 2006. But he has fought only twice since. His lone defeat came in his effort before last to Brock Larson in March 2007.
Couture, the former wife of MMA legend Randy Couture, will be making her eagerly anticipated STRIKEFORCE and 2009 debut. After losing her first fight, Couture registered a 1:44, first-round TKO over Lina Kvokov on Nov. 21, 2008.
Vera also is seeking her second consecutive victory. She scored a three-round unanimous decision over Leslie Smith on May 15, 2009.
The undefeated Kaufman has won eight of her 10 starts by knockout. In her last outing, she outpointed tough Shayna “The Queen Of Spades” Baszler across three (five-minute) hard-fought rounds on the June 19 STRIKEFORCE Challengers card. A dancer since the age of two, the exciting, hard-hitting Kaufman also owns a points victory over promising Miesha Tate.
Hashi, a pro since April 2004, will enter the cage with an eight-fight winning streak.