Two men living a stone’s throw from the Cedar Park Center will have the rare opportunity to fight in front of a hometown crowd live on Showtime this Friday night when Strikeforce rolls into Cedar Park, Texas for Strikeforce Challengers 14. The promotion officially announced the addition of bouts featuring Austin fighters Nick Gonzalez and Ryan Larson to the card who will also be joined by fellow Texan Carlo Prater on the televised portion of the event.
The 16-8 Gonzalez, a Bellator and Strikeforce veteran, will look to continue his current win streak against 5-2 David Douglas at 150 pounds. Gonzalez has won two of his last three bouts with a “No Contest” sandwiched in between the victories.
Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu student Larson will take on Erik Apple, a 10-2 welterweight who should enter the cage eager to both put his last performance behind him as well as mix it up in the ring after having only fought three times in the last three years. Apple was rendered unable to defend himself by way of strikes against Bobby Voelker at Strikeforce Challengers 5 this past November.
Finally, a 160-pound catch-weight affair between Prater and Bryan Travers will round out the main card. Travers is 14-2 and has won seven of his last eight fights, while Prater will enter the ring with more than twice Travers’ experience but perhaps more to prove. The 25-10-1 journeyman holds past wins in his career over Carlos Condit, Melvin Guillard, and Spencer Fisher but has struggled as of late with four losses in his last five fights.
Strikeforce Challengers 14 is headlined by lightweight Lyle Beerbohm’s attempt to go 16-0 in taking on always-tough Pat Healy and will also include Ryan Couture’s follow-up fight after a successful professional debut against Lucas Stark in August 2010. Couture will face 2-0 Lee Higgins in other televised action.