Originally rumored for an April 9 date, the second set of Strikeforce World Grand Prix quarterfinals will take place on June 18 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. As expected, current promotional title-holder Alistair Overeem will seek redemption against Fabricio Werdum, who submitted him at a PRIDE event in 2006, with powerful striker Brett Rogers facing experienced grappler Josh Barnett in another clash of contrasting styles.
“Strikeforce is coming off a record presale and impressive attendance for the kickoff of the Grand Prix at IZOD Center in New Jersey that also drew a record viewership on Showtime for live MMA,” said Strikeforce head-honcho Scott Coker. “To build on the tremendous momentum from New Jersey we needed the proper time to promote an event of this magnitude, which is why we have decided to continue the Tournament on June 18 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, a venue that has been identified as one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in the U.S.”
While no other match-ups were announced, former light heavyweight champ Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal recently took to his Twitter and expressed his expectation to compete on the card. Other popular Strikeforce fighters with Texas roots who could theoretically be available in June, like Lawal, include Tim Kennedy, K.J. Noons, and Gina Carano.
The first pair of World Grand Prix quarterfinals took place on February 12 with Sergei Kharitonov rendering Andrei Arlovski unconscious midway through the opening round of their fight and Antonio Silva pounding Fedor Emelianenko’s face to the point ringside physicians were forced to stop the bout ten minutes in. Kharitonov will face the winner of Barnett/Rogers with Silva respectively receiving Werdum/Overeem.