Strikeforce adds Coenen-Tate, Gracie-Lawal; Souza-Rockhold announced prematurely
By John Morgan – Showtime officials today announced a pair of new contests for July’s “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson” event, as women’s welterweight champion Marloes Coenen meets top contender Miesha Tate, and Roger Gracie faces Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in a light heavyweight affair.
Both fights take place on the evening’s main card.
However, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that a third bout announced today, a middleweight title fight between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Luke Rockhold, was announced prematurely and will likely take place at a later date.
Featuring a main event between former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson, “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson” takes place July 30 at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The main card airs on Showtime.
Coenen (19-4 MMA, 3-1 SF) looks to defend her title for the second time after defeating Liz Carmouche this past March. Coenen was expected to face Tate in that event, but Carmouche was brought in when the original challenger was forced to withdraw due to injury.
Tate (11-2 MMA, 3-1 SF) looks to extend a five-fight win streak while claiming the belt. The wrestling specialist earned her shot with a pair of victories in an August single-night tournament.
Lawal (7-1 MMA, 2-1 SF) returns to action for the first time since losing his 205-pound title to Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante this past August. The loss was the first of Lawal’s career, who opened up with seven-straight wins as a professional.
Gracie (4-0 MMA, 2-0 SF), a decorated grappler and submission stylist, looks to win for the fifth time in as many career fights. The two-time Strikeforce veteran has earned all four of his career MMA wins via submission, and only Kevin Randleman lasted past the opening round.
Souza (14-2 MMA, 4-0 SF) will look to defend his middleweight title for a second time in an upcoming bout with Rockhold (7-1 MMA, 6-0 SF), who boasts a six-fight win streak in the organization. However, the fight will not take place in July, according to Strikeforce officials.