TACOMA, WA.—In a classic clash of styles, World Muay Thai Champion, Duane “Bang” Ludwig (16-7), will be challenged by the ground fighting expertise of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace, Steve “The Red Nosed Pit Bull” Berger (20-17-2), in a 170 lb. limit matchup during “Strikeforce At The Dome” at Tacoma, Washington’s Tacoma Dome on Saturday, February 23rd.
A true fan favorite, the 29-year-old Ludwig was explosive in his last appearance, a September 15th matchup with another Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stud, Mario Stapel, in Broomfield, Colorado. At the 1:50 mark of the fight’s opening round, Bang put Stapel on his back with a short left hook-straight right hand combination
Ludwig’s February 23rd start will be his fifth under the Strikeforce umbrella. In his fourth effort with the mega-promotion, the Denver, Colorado native was stopped by an explosive Paul “Semtex” Daly.
Six months prior to the bout with Daley, though, it was Ludwig dishing out the beating, a relentless offensive on Tony “The Freak” Fryklund, during Strikeforce’s “Triple Threat” event. Fryklund was dropped three times before being finished with a right hand that put him on the mat and prompted the referee to stop the bout in the second stanza.
Ludwig shattered the all-time record for the quickest finish mixed martial arts history when he delivered a crushing right hand that finished Jonathan Goulet only 11 seconds into their Spike TV live, televised matchup on January 16, 2006.
During his professional fighting career that dates back to 1998, Berger has been tested by a host of the sport’s top talent and has stopped the likes of The Ultimate Fighter reality show veterans, “Mr. International” Shonie Carter and Pete “The Secret Weapon” Spratt.
Recently, Berger has been busy competing on the bodogFIGHT circuit. Of the three starts he has made with the promotion, his best showing came against Sweden’s Piotr Jakaczynski in Costa Rica on February 16, 2007.
Berger broke the Swede’s nose early in the matchup, but Jakaczynski refused to quit. Both fighters threw a steady dose of bombs at one another, but it was Berger who emerged victorious on the judges’ scorecards after three bloody rounds.
“Strikeforce At The Dome” will be presented by bodogFIGHT. Tickets for the event, priced at $150, $75 and $35, are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations (253-627-TIXS), the Tacoma Dome box office, and Ticketmaster.com.
Former NFL lineman turned martial arts fighting sensation, Bob “The Beast” Sapp (8-2-1), will collide with another monstrous specimen of man in 6’10” Jan “The Giant” Nortje (25-17) in the “Strikeforce At The Dome” main event.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion and K-1 North America king, Maurice “Big Mo” Smith (73-20-4), will battle fellow legend and six-time world kickboxing champion, Rick “The Jet” Roufus (57-7), in a heavyweight contest.
“Strikeforce At The Dome” will feature 10 world-class, professional mixed martial arts bouts. Doors at Tacoma Dome will open at 7 PM PST and the first fight will begin at 8 PM PST. The event is being promoted by Strikeforce in conjunction with Brian Halquist Productions.
About The Tacoma Dome:
The Tacoma Dome is one of the largest wood domed structures in the world. It is owned and operated by the City of Tacoma’s Public Assembly Facilities Department. The Tacoma Dome hosts over one million guests annually. The Tacoma Dome Arena and its attached Exhibition Hall host over 300 days of events every year including WIAA high school sports, major concerts, family shows, and several tradeshows.
Strikeforce is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, Strikeforce has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” Since then, it has produced the first SHOWTIME PPV mixed martial arts event in history with its world championship “Shamrock vs. Baroni” card on June 22nd of this year followed by the first-ever mixed martial arts event at the world-famous Playboy Mansion on September 29th.
About Brian Halquist Productions:
Brian Halquist Productions is the Northwest premiere fight promotion company creator of the famed “Battle at the Boat” boxing series now in its 12th year and nearly 100 fights at the Emerald Queen Casino. In the past year Brian Halquist Promotions has promoted events for ESPN, ShowTime and HBO and was recently featured on Showtime’s historic boxing event in St Lucia. BHP fighters included Undefeated David Torres, Undefeated Heavyweight Eric Fields and Native American Prospect Roger Cantrell. Brian Halquist Productions has been promoting fights and concerts for over 20 years in the Pacific Northwest.