Strikeforce officially announced via press release on Thursday evening that it will hold its next event on Friday, Nov. 21 from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Two title bouts have already been announced for the show, including Bobby Southworth defending his Strikeforce light heavyweight title vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson is also being advertised as making his first defense of his crown against an unnamed opponent.
Joe Riggs will also be returning to action and will be competing at 170 pounds in a bout against Luke Stewart.
Southworth and Sobral had been scheduled to fight during the promotion’s Sept. 20 show at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif. but the match was postponed due to injuries sustained by both fighters. Southworth was first to pull out of the bout due to lingering problems from a knee injury but now claims he’s healthy enough to defend his title.
“It’s my title and I plan on defending it,” Southworth, a veteran from the first season of Spike TV’s hit reality television show The Ultimate Fighter, is quoted as saying in the release. “The stabilization in my knee is back and so is my strength.”
Sobral is 30-7 in a mixed martial arts career that dates back to 1999. A veteran of the UFC, he holds notable wins in his career over the likes of Jeremy Horn, Trevor Prangley, Travis Wiuff, Chael Sonnen, Cyrille Diabate, Mauricio Rua, and Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons.
“I’m definitely going to be looking for the knockout,” said Sobral, who was dismissed from the UFC following an incident at UFC 74 in which he initially refused to release David Heath from an Anaconda choke submission. “I’m one month away and I’m 218 lbs. right now. I’m feeling great. I will be strong enough to win this fight.”
Sobral is 2-0 since leaving the UFC with his most recent victory taking place on July 19 during Affliction’s debut event. Facing former IFL standout Mike Whitehead, Sobral recorded a unanimous decision victory.
In addition to fighting for Affliction, sources have also revealed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com in recent weeks that EliteXC officials had preliminary interest in matching Sobral up with Rafael Feijao in a match to determine its first-ever light heavyweight champion during its Nov. 8 show in Reno. However, Sobral’s commitment to compete for Strikeforce on Nov. 21 ruled out the possibility of such a bout taking place.
Both Thomson and Riggs competed during the promotion’s Playboy Mansion show last month. Facing Ashe Bowman in a non-title fight, Thomson won via TKO at 1:14 of round 1. Meanwhile, Riggs, competing during the card’s main event, lost to Kazuo Misaki via TKO at 2:29 of round 2 in what many consider to be a premature stoppage.