History-Making Event Brings Fastest Growing Sport To Illustrious Home Of Entertainment Mogul Hugh Hefner
Beverly Hills, CA; August 3, 2007…. Leading mixed martial arts federation, Strikeforce, will produce a historic, first-ever mixed martial arts event at the world-famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California on Saturday, September 29th. Amongst those slated for action at the home of Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner are undefeated Strikeforce world lightweight (155 lb. limit) champion “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez and UFC and Pride Fighting Championship veteran Josh “The Punk” Thomson.
The 10-bout fight card will also host the return of Strikeforce world light heavyweight (205 lb. limit) champion and The Ultimate Fighter season one runner-up Bobby Southworth as well as the return of former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star and Tough Enough 2 reality show winner Daniel Puder.
Loaded with top caliber fighting talent, the one-of-a-kind affair will also lavish each of its guests with a number of other memorable experiences including a top-shelf open bar; a buffet-style gourmet dinner; photo opportunities with Playboy Playmates; and a wine-tasting party featuring the spirits of various gold-medal wineries.
A poker tournament, open to a limited number of guests, will also take place on the Mansion grounds on the evening of the event.
“This is another leap forward into mainstream America for Strikeforce and the sport of mixed martial arts,” said Scott Coker, CEO of West Coast Productions, LLC, the parent company of Strikeforce. For over 20 years, Coker has pioneered the growth of martial arts in North America while presiding over his company that is the exclusive provider of martial arts footage to ESPN and the producer of some of the largest-scale fight cards in United States history. In 2003, he was honored as “Man Of The Year” by leading martial arts magazine, Inside Kung-Fu, for his ground-breaking efforts to bring Japan’s K-1 fighting to audiences in Las Vegas, Nevada twice annually. “We feel honored that Mr. Hefner chose the Strikeforce brand to entertain an audience at his home and we’re looking forward to putting on an incredible show.”
The event at the Playboy Mansion will be staged three months after the Strikeforce co-produced “Shamrock vs. Baroni,” extravaganza, the first mixed martial arts event to be distributed live on SHOWTIME® PPV. Before a crowd of 10,850 at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, former UFC middleweight champion and mixed martial arts legend, Frank Shamrock, became the first Strikeforce middleweight champion in history by choking out UFC and Pride veteran, “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni, in the second round of the star-studded fight card’s main event on Friday, June 22nd.
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. The rapidly growing organization recently re-launched its website, www.strikeforceusa.net, which boasts a bold new look and all-new features, including video streaming capability. 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.”