Riggs Steps Up To Face Devela At Strikeforce
Ellis Replaces Ludwig In Matchup With Berger
TACOMA, WA.—Middleweight (185 lb. limit) star Joe “Diesel” Riggs (27-9) has been called up to take on Cory “The One” Devela (12-2) during the Bodog Fight Presents: “Strikeforce At The Dome” mixed martial arts mega-card at Tacoma, Washington’s Tacoma Dome on Saturday, February 23rd.
“Fast” Eddy Ellis (12-14-1), meanwhile, will replace Duane “Bang” Ludwig in the 170 lb. limit matchup with Steve “The Red Nosed Pit Bull Berger” (20-17-2).
The addition of the 25-year-old Riggs to the Strikeforce lineup comes after Devela’s original opponent, Cedric Marks, was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a shoulder injury.
In his last effort, which came at Strikeforce’s inaugural event at the world-famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California on September 29, 2007, Riggs overpowered ageless warrior Eugene “The Wolf” Jackson early on, mounting and hammering Jackson with a barrage of punches to score a knockout at the 3:56 mark of the bout’s opening round.
Devela has been on fire of late, emerging triumphant in his last five starts. He is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Lodune Sincaid, a contestant on the original season of Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter reality series.
Tickets for Bodog Fight Presents: “Strikeforce At The Dome,” 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” K-1 star and undefeated professional boxer, Jan “The Giant” Nortje (25-17), in the card’s main event.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion and K-1 North America king, Maurice “Big Mo” Smith (73-20-4), will battle six-time world kickboxing champion and former World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas champion, Rick “The Jet” Roufus (57-7), in a featured heavyweight contest.
Bodog Fight sensation Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal (13-2) will take on 2004 NCAA National Boxing Champion turned Matt Lindland protégé, “Diamond” Ryan Healy (9-2-1), in a 160 lb. limit catch weight fight.
Bodog Fight Presents: “Strikeforce At The Dome” will feature 10 world-class, professional mixed martial arts bouts. Doors at Tacoma Dome will open at 6 PM PST and the first fight will begin at 7 PM PST.
The live, HDNet telecast of the event will begin at 7:30 PM PST (10:30 PM EST). Strikeforce is promoting the event 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.