MMAFighting.com is reporting that a light heavyweight tilt between recently dethroned champ Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and rising star Ovince St. Preux has been booked for an upcoming but unannounced July Strikeforce event.
Cavalcante stole the belt from Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal via third round TKO back in August but was deposed shortly thereafter in similar fashion by Dan Henderson. The Black House-trained fighter holds a professional record of 10-3.
Haitian by birth and fighting out of Knoxville, Tennessee, St. Preux was a prominent member of the University of Tennessee football team before transitioning to MMA. He holds a pro record of 10-4, is on a seven-fight winning streak and, in his most recent outing, he defeated Abongo Humphrey via unanimous decision.
In other Strikeforce matchmaking news, Sherdog.com is reporting that welterweights Tarec Saffiedine and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos will also be tangling on the unannounced July event.
Brazilian striker-first Santos most recently appeared in action against Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz, a fight he earned by knocking out Marius Zaromskis and Daniel Zarate. Santos fought hard against Diaz, but came up short in the end, losing the bout via second round submission. He holds a pro record of 18-14.
Belgian-Lebanese Shihaishinkai black belt Saffiedine built a nice three-fight winning streak in 2010, before losing to rising prospect Tyron Woodley via decision this past January. “Sponge” holds a record of 10-3.
FightersOnly.com reports that a lightweight match up between Japanese Pride star Takanori Gomi and rising Brazilian prospect Edson Barboza is being looked at for this August’s UFC: Rio card, which is scheduled to take place at the HSBC Arena.
A decorated veteran, Gomi made his UFC debut in early 2010 against Kenny Florian, though he came up short against “Ken-Flo” and was submitted in the third round. Gomi bounced back with an impressive first round knockout of Tyson Griffin but dropped his second and most recent bout by submission to Clay Guida. Gomi sports a record of 32-7.
Undefeated Edson Barboza impressed in his November, 2010 UFC debut in stopping Mike Lullo with vicious leg kicks. He looked as sharp in a closely contested bout against Anthony Njokuani this past March, which he won via unanimous decision. His record sits at 8-0.
Finally, UFC 133 will likely see the addition of a bantamweight contest between Michael McDonald and Nick Pace, according to MMAJunkie.com.
Though Nick Pace failed to make weight for his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck Finale this past December, he impressed with his modified submission finish. Pace combined a gogoplata, a guillotine and a triangle choke to finish Will Campuzano; the finishing move was eventually coined the “Pace Choke.” Pace holds a record of 6-1, with his only loss coming against Demetrious Johnson.
Duke Roufus-trained Michael McDonald made his UFC debut this past March at UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis. The 20-year old defeated a very game Edwin Figueroa in a fast-paced, exciting brawl that earned Fight of the Night honors. Figueroa stepped in on short notice for an injured Nick Pace, who was originally scheduled to fight McDonald on that night. McDonald’s record sits at 12-1.
UFC 133 is expected to take place on August 6 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.