PRESS RELEASE / NEW YORK (Sept. 22, 2010) – A match-up of welterweight prospects, Tyron Woodley (8-0), of St. Louis, Mo., and Andre Galvao (5-1) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will replace the fight between Luke Rockhold and Matt “The Law” Lindland on “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II” on Saturday, October 9th, at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., live on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
The middleweight bout between Rockhold and Lindland was called off after Rockhold sustained a shoulder injury last Saturday while training at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose. The extent of the injury is not yet known.
“The fight between Tyron and Andre is a great matchup between two young fighters looking to take their careers to the next level,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said. “We wish Luke a speedy recovery and are confident he will soon enough rejoin our growing crop of top prospects.”
Woodley and Galvao are two of MMA’s fastest-rising 170-pounders and both possess the talent, ability and dedication to one day fight for a world title. The highly touted fighters will be making their respective televised debuts on a Strikeforce championship series fight card on Showtime after having appeared on Strikeforce Challengers.
The unbeaten 5-foot-9, 28-year-old Woodley of St. Louis, Mo., is a two-time All-American NCAA wrestler for the University of Missouri. He fought three times on the (Strikeforce) Challengers series, winning his last on a hard-fought split decision over Nathan Coy in his first start of the year on May 21 in Portland, Oregon, Woodley triumphed by submission in both his 2009 outings on Strikeforce Challengers, finishing Rudy Bears with an arm-triangle choke and Zach Light with an arm-bar on November 20th and September 25th, respectively.
Woodley, who turned pro in February 2006, is a member of American Top Team. He won his initial start for Strikeforce with a first-round submission (Brabo Choke) over Sal Woods in a non-televised, undercard bout on June 6th, 2009, in St. Louis.
Galvao, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist, is coming off a third-round TKO (punches) over Jorge Patino in an undercard bout last Aug. 21 at “Strikeforce: Houston”. In his fight before last, he triumphed via controversial split-decision over Luke Stewart during a Strikeforce Challengers event last March 26th in Fresno, California.
The 5-foot-7 Galvao, who turns 28 on September 29th, is 2-0 in 2010. His only defeat came on a split decision to Jason High in the DREAM Welterweight Grand Prix on July 20th, 2009. Before going pro in August 2008, Galvao earned countless Jiu-Jitsu titles in international competition for Brazil, including a gold medal at the World Championships in ‘08.
The postponement is a setback for Rockhold, an up-and-coming middleweight on a six-fight winning streak.
“There’s not much I can do. Injuries are part of the game,’’ Rockhold said. ‘But I feel bad for Matt, the fans, Strikeforce, everybody. I’d been working really hard and was really focused on this fight. Hopefully, I will be OK soon and Matt and I can get it on in the future.’’
In the October 9th main event, Strikeforce World Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz (22-7, 1 NC) will defend against KJ Noons (9-1) in an eagerly awaited grudge rematch. Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight World Champion Sarah Kaufman (12-0) will risk her 135-pound belt a second time when she faces No. 1 contender Marloes Coenen (17-4) in the co-feature
A third fight on Showtime will match former Strikeforce belt-holder Josh Thomson (17-3) against Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante (15-3-1) in a battle of world-ranked lightweights.