On Friday, November 6, 2009, Strikeforce will make a trip about 3 hours southeast from its base in San Jose down the freeway to the city of Fresno, where it will host the fourth installment of ShoMMA – Strikeforce Challengers. The event will take place at the Save Mart Center at Fresno State in Fresno, California. This will be the first time Strikeforce has hosted a show in Fresno, which is located in the center of the wide San Joaquin Valley of Central California. Strikeforce will also host its first live primetime event on CBS tomorrow night, which will feature a main event between Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. This will be the first time Strikeforce has held back-to-back events on two consecutive nights. The five main card bouts at ShoMMA – Strikeforce Challengers 4 are scheduled to air on Showtime in the United States at 11:00 p.m. EST/PST.
The main event of the evening for ShoMMA – Strikeforce Challengers 4 will be a 160-pound Catchweight Bout between the undefeated Strikeforce veteran and hometown hero Billy Evangelista against the UFC and TUF 2 veteran Jorge Gurgel. Evangelista had a bit of controversy in his last fight at ShoMMA – Strikeforce Challenger 1 in May, where he struck his opponent Mike Aina in the shoulder with a knee. Aina then subsequently fell over. Unfortunately, from referee Herb Dean’s angle, it appeared to be an illegal blow to the head, which resulted in Evangelista being disqualified. After Evangelista appealed the decision and the CSAC was officially presented with visual evidence that the blow was legal, the fight result was then changed to a No Decision. This allowed Evangelista to keep his undefeated record intact.
Evangelista’s opponent on Friday night will be one of Ohio’s more recognizable fighters in Jorge Gurgel. The Brazilian native is a jiu-jitsu black belt and veteran of the second season of TUF. He then went on to fight seven times for the UFC before making his Strikeforce debut at ShoMMA – Strikeforce Challengers 2 in June, where he defeated EliteXC veteran Conor Heun via Unanimous Decision. Gurgel, who also has a large association of schools and students throughout the Midwest, will not enjoy the benefit of fighting in front of any of them on Friday night, as he treks into enemy territory. Evangelista is a native of Fresno and will enjoy most of the fan support from his hometwon crowd. Along with bragging rights, the win, and the winner’s bonus, the winner of Evangelista vs. Gurgel could also find themselves in position to challenge the winner of the upcoming Strikeforce lightweight title bout, which will be contested between Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson and Strikeforce interim lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
-Billy Evangelista vs. Jorge Gurgel (160-pound Catchweight Bout)
-Shane del Rosario vs. Brandon Cash (Heavyweight Bout)
-Luke Rockhold vs. Jesse Taylor (Middleweight Bout)
-Ousmane Thomas Diagne vs. Merrit Warren (Lightweight Bout)
-Elisha Helsper vs. Zoila Frausto (Women’s 135-pound Bout)
-Ben Holscher vs. Jonny Goh (Lightweight Bout)
-Casey Olson vs. Chris Culley (Featherweight Bout)
-Cole Escovedo vs. Maurice Eazel (Bantamweight Bout)
-Alexander Trevino vs. Rico Altamirano (Welterweight Bout)