On Wednesday, Nov. 17, Vitor Ribiero, Wes Shivers, Jeremiah Riggs and Anthony Mitchell participated in an open workout for the media at Knockout Fitness in Flowood, Miss. The fighters were there to help promote Friday’s “Strikeforce Challengers 12,” which takes place at the Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson, Miss., and airs live on Showtime at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
BJJ black belt Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro (20-4) will take on Justin “The Silverback” Wilcox (9-3) of San Jose, Calif., at lightweight in the “Strikeforce Challengers 12” main event. Former NFL player, Wes Shivers (7-1) will face Goldman Butler (1-3) of Tupelo, Miss., at heavyweight. Jeremiah “Big Rig” Riggs (6-5) of Vicksburg, Miss., will face Jason Sharp (7-2) of Biloxi, Miss., at middleweight.
Anthony Mitchell (4-1) of Madison, Miss., a fighter from the amateur portion of the card, also participated at the open workout. He will be fighting Jeffrey Hedgepeth (2-1) of Silver Creek, Miss., at a catch weight of 200 pounds.
In addition to just watching the fighters work out, the media also had the opportunity to interview each of the fighters who were present on Wednesday. Here are some quotes from those interviews, as well as photos of each fighter:
“This fight means a lot to me. I’m really happy to be the main event in this show and I think that’s what motivated me to train so hard the last few months. I’m just working on a few things today and sparring a bit, but I feel great and I’m ready to go for Friday.
“(Wilcox) sounds like a very powerful wrestler who has good hands. I’ll be ready to use my game plan, though, based on what I know about him.
“I left my last fight to the judges, so I’m going to try to not make that mistake again and finish the fight in three rounds. If I can’t, I’m going to dominate the three rounds and not leave any doubt in anyone’s mind about who won.”
“A lot of people are saying this guy doesn’t have a good record and they’re underestimating him. I’m not doing that by any means. I know the guys he’s fought and I know they’re super tough and that he’s tough. He wouldn’t have taken this fight if he wasn’t ready so I’m coming in there prepared for a war.
“When I got the phone call to fight in STRIKEFORCE, it was a big deal to me. Besides the fact that this is in my home state, I’ve always prided myself in being a local guy who has tried to help the sport grow here and to be a part of a major organization when it comes to my hometown means a lot to me.
“I’m going to go in there showing how hard I worked for this fight and you never know where that could go with STRIKEFORCE. I’m hoping to establish a home with them. This fight may have opened a door for me.”
“Stylistically, this is a very good matchup for me. I’ve had the privilege of seeing my opponent fight on two previous occasions. Going in, I’m very confident about my technique versus his technique.
“It’s kind of a surreal feeling to be fighting on such a big card. There have been a few televised fights here but, this is by far the biggest show to come here. None of them have carried the reputation that STRIKEFORCE has. Just to be a part of it, I feel honored.”
“I’ve actually trained with James. That’s something that a lot of people might not know. I feel good about it, though. I had a great camp at Hit Squad. This is probably the best I’ve felt in my career mentally and physically.
“He’s a stand up guy and I’m a stand up guy, but I think I have an edge as far as wrestling and the ground game goes. I don’t take anyone lightly. He better have his chin buckled up because once that cage door shuts and the bell rings, I’m coming for him.
“I’m coming off a three-fight win streak. I really believe I’ve got what it takes to get in there with some of the big names. I’m not looking past this fight, though. I want to show people how hard I’ve been working to get to this point. If anyone makes any mistakes, it’s going to be him and I’m going to make him pay.”
“Strikeforce Challengers 12” fight card:
MAIN CARD (Televised on Showtime)
- Vitor Ribeiro vs. Justin Wilcox
- Antwain Britt vs. Ovince St. Preux
- Marius Zaromskis vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf
- Jan Finney vs. Liz Carmouche
- Caros Fodor vs. Derrick Getzel
PRELIMINARY CARD (Not Televised)
- Wes Shivers vs. Goldman Butler
- Wesley Little vs. Jacob Noe
- Jeremiah Riggs vs. James Sharp
- Jamie Houston vs. Dave Martin
AMATEUR CARD (Not Televised)
- Anthony Mitchell vs. Jeffrey Hedgepeth
- Brian Hall vs. Thomas Vasquez
- Joel Cooper vs. Brian Burse
- Travis Robertson vs. Ken DuBoise