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Strikeforce champions Nick Diaz and Sarah Kaufman return to action on October 9th in San Jose

PRESS RELEASE / SAN JOSE, CALIF. (Aug. 21, 2010) – The Strikeforce men’s and women’s welterweight champions Nick Diaz and Sarah Kaufman will return to the cage on Saturday, October 9th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. The event will be shown live on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

Diaz will face an opponent to be named in the coming week while Kaufman will defend her title against Dutch superstar Marloes Coenen.

Also on the explosive card, emerging star from the “Strikeforce Challengers” series Luke Rockhold will risk his six-fight win streak against MMA superstar and former Olympic wrestling silver medalist Matt “The Law” Lindland in a featured middleweight (185 pounds) contest.

The 27-year-old Diaz (22-7), a Cesar Gracie BJJ blackbelt and native of Stockton, has won seven consecutive fights since his last loss in 2007. He is coming off a first round submission victory (armbar) over fellow superstar Hayato “Mach” Sakurai last May at DREAM 14 in Japan. Prior to that, Diaz won the Strikeforce title with a late, third-round TKO (punches) of Marius “The Whitemare” Žaromskis at “Strikeforce – Miami” last January.

The undefeated Kaufman (12-0), a former ballet dancer who hails from British Columbia, Canada, is fresh off the first defense of her title, an explosive body slam knockout of Roxanne Modafferi at “Strikeforce Challengers” in Everett, Wash., this past July 23rd. The 24-year-old Kaufman, who has won nine of her fights by KO, will face Coenen (17-4), a submission specialist and the number one contender to the Strikeforce women’s welterweight belt.

The 29-year-old Coenen (17-4) will fight for the first time since a third-round TKO loss to Cris Cyborg for the Strikeforce Women’s Middleweight (145 pounds) Championship at “Strikeforce – Miami”. Coenen, a member of Holland’s Team Golden Glory and mixed martial artist since the age of 14, will be moving down in weight to challenge at 135 pounds. Kaufman and Coenen have both defeated Modafferi, with Coenen avenging a 2007 loss via first round armbar in her Strikeforce debut on November 7th, 2009.

Rockhold (7-1), who could prove to be one of Strikeforce’s next great middleweight superstars, has won six of his seven fights via submission. The 25-year-old member of Team AKA is coming off a first-round TKO (knees to body) of Paul Bradley last February at a “Strikeforce Challengers” event in San Jose. The impressive win was the first KO victory of the Santa Cruz, Calif., native’s professional career. Prior to his latest conquest, Rockhold had won five straight fights by way of submission.

Lindland (22-7), who won the silver medal in Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestling at the 2000 Olympic Games, scored a third-round TKO victory over “King” Kevin Casey this past May on a “Strikeforce Challengers” card in his hometown of Portland. A former UFC star who has been competing professionally in MMA since 1997, Lindland, 40, is also a former All-American wrestler for University of Nebraska and the 1993 NCAA Big Eight conference champion. During his stellar career, Lindland has triumphed over a number of all-time greats including former UFC champions Pat Miletich and Carlos Newton.

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