Strikeforce announced Tuesday that the promotion has added a lightweight contest between Nam Phan and Billy Evangelista to the undercard of its June 27 show that will feature Gilbert Melendez defending the Strikeforce lightweight title against Josh Thomson.
The event is expected to be carried on HDNet.
Phan, who has a strong following within the Vietnamese community, last fought in February for the Gladiator Challenge promotion, where he recorded a second round TKO Saad Awad. Prior to the Awad fight, he fought and won last October against Shad Smith during the Extreme Fighters World Championships in Anaheim, Calif.
Phan has also competed against notable opponents such as Gesias Calvancante, Josh Thomson, and former WEC lightweight champion “Razor” Rob McCullough.
“It should be a great matchup,” Phan is quoted as saying in a press release issued by the promotion. “I know (Evangelista)’s pretty good at wrestling and ok at Jiu-Jitsu and he’s got great Muay Thai. I think his striking is better than mine, but my strength is Jiu-Jitsu. I always prefer Jiu-Jitsu and submitting opponents.”
Evangelista, billed as a knockout artist, is a perfect 6-0 in his brief pro career. He last fought on March 29, competing in the last bout of the Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le event in San Jose, Calif. In the bout, Evangelista recorded an impressive third round knockout against infamous TUF 5 contestant, Marlon Sims.
“I don’t really have a game plan for Nam Phan and I’ve never seen him fight,” Evangelista is quoted as saying. “I know he’s good on the ground, though, so I just need to be prepared for anything that comes.”
In addition to the Melendez vs. Thomson and Phan vs. Evangelista bouts, a Strikeforce light heavyweight bout between Bobby Southworth and Anthony Ruiz has been previously announced as well.
In other Strikeforce-related news, this week’s print edition of the Wrestling Observer is reporting that Daniel Puder is no longer contracted to the promotion. The Observer also indicated that it is unclear whether Puder intends to remain an active fighter.