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. 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., on July 22.
If that wasn’t enough, Strikeforce Challengers also features Sarah Kaufman taking on Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche in a women’s welterweight match up, 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.
The event will mark Strikeforce’s debut at the Palms and the organization expects to put on several events at the fight-friendly venue throughout 2011.
“The rubber match between Voelker and Bowling will not only settle the score between the two, but it will also help determine another rising contender in the welterweight division,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said. “This event on July 22 is loaded with potentially explosive fights and we’re excited to kick off our relationship with the Palms with such a great card.”
Kansas City’s Bobby Voelker (23-8) has proven that defeating him is no easy task, as he’s shown by winning three of his last four, including the last fight with Bowling in October. This July he’ll have his sights set Bowling (9-1), who earned his nickname “Relentless” thanks to scoring seven of his nine professional victories by way of stoppage. Fresh off a win over Josh Thornsburg in March, the 28-year-old now turns his attention to winning the trilogy.
Former welterweight champ Sarah Kaufman (13-1) returns for a pivotal fight that could determine the division’s next title challenger. With her only career loss coming to Marloes Coenen last year, the 25-year-old Canadian Kaufman is a tremendous finisher with 10 of her 13 wins coming by way of knockout. Former U.S. Marine Liz Carmouche (5-1) steps back into the cage for the first time since battling Strikeforce women’s welterweight champion Coenen in an exciting bout last March. The aggressive striker, who currently trains in San Diego, Calif., meets Kaufman in what should be an explosive 135-pound women’s bout.
Lavar Johnson (15-4), having lost only once since August of 2008, holds wins over the likes of Shane del Rosario and Virgil Swicker. He looks to spark a run up the heavyweight ladder when he meets Team Quest product Devin Cole (18-9-1), in what will surely be an explosive match up. Cole, a wrestling standout who won a national championship with Southern Oregon University, is 5-2 in his last seven bouts.
Since losing his first and only bout, Russian Adlan Amagov (7-1-1) has gone unbeaten in his last eight fights. On July 22, he debuts in Strikeforce and looks to continue his impressive run. Currently riding a two-fight win streak, Ron Stallings (9-3) has made quick work of his opponents. With all of his wins coming by either by KO or submission, expect fireworks from the Temple Hills, Md. product in this bout.