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VOELKER-BOWLING LOOK TO SETTLE THE SCORE IN LONG-AWAITED RUBBER MATCH

MAIN EVENT:

BOBBY VOELKER vs. ROGER BOWLING III

PLUS:

SARAH KAUFMAN vs. LIZ CARMOUCHE

LAVAR JOHNSON vs. DEVIN COLE

ADLAN AMAGOV vs. RON STALLINGS

FRIDAY, JULY 22

THE PEARL AT THE PALMS CASINO RESORT

LAS VEGAS, NEV.

Live on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (Delayed on West Coast)

TICKETS ON SALE

SAN JOSE, Calif. – In 2010, Bobby Voelker and Roger Bowling engaged in two of the most exciting contests of the year, splitting victories and leaving fans craving a third fight to settle the score. On July 22, the wait will come to an end as STRIKEFORCE® Challengers presents the rubber match at the Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

If that wasn’t enough, STRIKEFORCE® Challengers also features Sarah Kaufman taking on Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche in a women’s welterweight matchup, a heavyweight contest between Lavar “Big” Johnson and Devin Cole, as well as a 185-pound bout between Adlan Amagov and Ronald “The Choir Boy” Stallings, and one yet to be announced bout that will air on Showtime.

Chris Weidman is quickly making his mark in the UFC.  In his UFC debut in March, he showed a great combination of stand up and wrestling skills in beating Alessio Sakara.  Weidman was able to hang with Sakara on the feet and take him down at will.  It was an impressive debut for the Long Island native, but no surprise to the people who have been following his career.

On Saturday, Weidman showed that he has submission skills too.  Following a beautiful knee to the body, Chris got the standing guillotine on Jesse Bongfeldt which led to a tapout and Submission of the Night Award.

We've been covereing Chris Weidman for a long time here, and I have to say: I told you so!  He is definitely on the fast track in the UFC, and we look forward to his next match up.

If you didn't check out Kristen Brown's in depth article about Weidman and Gian Villante, check it out.

Congrats to Chris on the SOTN, which you can check out after the jump.

Note: Kristen Brown is a new writer here and this is her first article.  She lives and trains in New York and will be covering the NY/NJ MMA scene for our humble website.

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Chris Weidman and Gian Villante, two accomplished collegiate wrestlers, have made a name for themselves as the next generation of Long Island MMA fighters, following in the footsteps of Matt Serra and Pete “Drago” Sell. Their stories of success and their rise to fame are strangely similar. Their friendship is one based on admiration, mutual respect, and of course their ability to make each other and everyone else around them laugh.

I had the pleasure of interviewing both fighters at an autograph signing for fans this past Saturday at the GNC at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, NY, and there was no shortage of humor, often at each other’s expense. In between talking with fans, signing autographs, and dealing with my hard hitting questions, the back and forth banter was constant. Which guy’s handwriting was more like a 5th grader‘s, (both agreed that honor belongs to Chris) who’s better looking, (that one is still undecided) and the infamous wrestling rivalry between MacArthur High School in Levittown, where Gian went to school, and Baldwin High School, Chris’s alma mater.

“Complete domination” is how Chris Weidman recalls his defeat over Gian Villante when the two wrestled each other in high school over ten years ago. Gian attributes this loss to the fact the he is a year younger than Chris, and says, “He won’t ever let me live it down.” Maybe it was this loss that inspired Gian to move up to 215 pounds his Junior year. He would eventually find great success over the years fighting at both light heavy weight and heavy weight.

Greg Schoen is the world's oldest whitebelt.  He's training for his first Muay Thai fight and will share his experiences right here as he prepares for his fighting debut.  This is the final installment of a four part series. Click here for the previous articles:  Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3

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On May 29th I had the opportunity to compete in a modified amateur Muay Thai tournament and I can honestly say it was the most fun I have ever done in regards to the Martial Arts. The day was beautiful, a perfect sunny day devoid of clouds, and while I was driving to the tournament site it seemed like every song that came on was devoted just to me. My motivation was at an all time high and even though finding a parking space was a bitch I got to the registration desk with plenty of time to spare. The only thing I was worried about was my weight.

If you can remember about four weeks back I weighed in at around 185 pounds. I needed to cut that down to 179 to 181 to be able to compete in my target division of 171-181 pounds and I was worried I wasn’t going to make it. The weigh-in’s were to be done the day of the competition so any attempts by me to do some sort of wrestlers weight cut were null and void, not that I know how to do that stuff anyway, but I have found in the past that necessity is the mother of invention, but I digress.

NOTE:  Michael Caulo is an undefeated amatuer mixed martial artist who lives on Long Island.  He runs his own blog at MikeCaulo.com, where he shares his training and fitness tips and much more. Be sure to visit his new forum too

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Last night I caught the finale of the ultimate fighter, and it raised a few questions in my head.  As well as raising a few questions it show cased that the UFC is still superior than the WEC talent with the co main event match up of Anthony Petis vs Clay Guida.  Also making an impressive ufc debut was Chris Cope basically dominating Chuck O'neil, which was the perfect example of what I had discussed in a prior article of being outclassed by a better striker.

So the first question that came to mind after watching the fights last night was, What is the best base for a striking background to transition into MMA?  Another question it raised was What is the best base for a grappling background to transition into MMA.  The reason I ask they questions specifically is because throughout the fights I have watched I hear two styles consistent come up, wrestling and Tae Kwon Do.

Alistair Overeem prefers fighting in a ring, but recognizes that cages are a "fact" of the game.  On today's Strikeforce conference call, Overeem talked about that and much more.  He'll be taking on Fabricio Werdum in the Strikeforce HW Grand Prix on June 18th.  The fight will be fought in a cage, of course, but Overeem is prepared for it:

 

I like the idea of a ring, but I think a cage is more safe.  You can’t fall out of it.  Basically I trained a lot of stuff the past five years.  The whole way to prepare for a fight.  Did I train in a cage?  I think a cage is one fact of MMA today.  I think everybody who is professional needs to keep his surroundings in consideration.  You need to work with it.  You need to use it to your advantage.  So yes, I’ve been training differently now than five years ago.

 

Overeem wants to make a statement in this Grand Prix.  He's putting the heavyweight division on notice.

 

This Grand Prix has the opportunity to show not only the fan in the U.S., but fans to the fans all over the world that I’m the number one.  And the number one you don’t become by beating no names.  You have to beat the names.  And I think this tournament holds very good names, experienced names.  It holds all sorts of names.  But I believe that every fighter in the tournament is good, experienced, and you got to beat the best to become the best.

 

Gina Carano did not clear her medicals and has been scratched from the Strikeforce card, according to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.  He just made the announcement a few minutes ago.  We'll have more on this story as it develops.

Mike Massenzio is back in the UFC, and he'll be fighting this Saturday on the UFC 131 card against Krzysztof Soszyński.  Mike is managed by Mike Constantino now, the man behind the success of the Miller Brothers, Charlie Brennerman and other top fighters.

Mike Constantino posted an enthusiastic announcement on his Facebook page about getting Massenzio back in the UFC:

I Just signed MVC Sports Management Client Mike Massenzio Back to the UFC!!!  He will be stepping in this Saturday at UFC 131 to fight Krzysztof Soszynski.  Welcome back Mike!!!

Mike Massenzio has had a few tough breaks in the UFC.  He fought injured several times and even had a bout with staph.  Hopefully his time off has allowed him to heal up and be 100 percent on Saturday.  Mike's a great guy and a damn good fighter, so his return his welcome news.

Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino has decided not to renew his UFC contract and instead focus on his family and running his school in Belmar, New Jersey.  Kurt will still be a fixture at local NJ shows cornering his guys, and active in MMA, but his fighting days, at least for the time being, are over.

In the video, Kurt also addresses a comment that Tim Kennedy made:

 

Kurt Pellegrino is taking a year off from fighting because he got a tiny glimpse of what its like to be a deployed soldier.

 

That comment was kind of out there, and many people felt it was insulting.  Kurt talks about how he interpreted Tim's comment and what the military means to him.

He also talks about his baby boy, who will grow up wrestling before he even thinks about BJJ.  Check it out.

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