TACOMA, WA.—Bodog Fight sensation Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal (13-2) will take on former NCAA National Boxing Champion turned Matt Lindland protégé, “Diamond” Ryan Healy (9-2-1), in a 160 lb. limit catch weight mixed martial arts battle during Bodog Fight Presents: “Strikeforce At The Dome” at Tacoma, Washington’s Tacoma Dome on Saturday, February 23rd.
The 23-year-old Masvidal, a native of Miami, Florida, is looking to notch his eighth consecutive victory after stopping Brant Rose in just 50 seconds on December 11, 2007.
Three months prior to his last outing, Masvidal finished Matt Lee with a barrage of strikes in one round of action during Strikeforce’s inaugural event at the world famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California on September 29, 2007.
“Things are really starting to fall into place,” commented Masvidal on his surge that has him knocking on the door of a top ten ranking in the sport’s lightweight division. His most impressive showing to date was his second round TKO of The Ultimate Fighter season 5 contender, Joe Lauzon, on April 30, 2005.
“A lot of other sports like boxing have amateur (ranks) so when you get to the pros you already know more or less what you’re doing,” explained Masvidal. “For MMA, it’s different. You’ve got to learn on the job. So, it was just a matter of time before I put everything together.”
A former boxing star for University of Nevada at Reno, the 24-year-old Healy made a phenomenal run to the NCAA Division I championship in 2004 by defeating four consecutive opponents, including a championship round rival from The United States Air Force Academy.
“I was the underdog,” said Healy. “Nobody knew who I was or expected me to win – kind of like this fight with Jorge. But, I worked hard and got it done. I’m hard nosed. I stay in your face and I don’t back down from anybody.”
In 2006, Healy relocated to Portland, Oregon where he found a mentor in Lindland, arguably the number one middleweight fighter in the world. The rising star has since diversified his skill set to include a healthy wrestling foundation.
“He leads by example,” said Healy of Lindland. “He shows up to practice every day, works as hard as anybody. So, it’s nice to see what it takes to be a champion and one of the best fighters in the world.”
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 and, in a 170 lb. limit matchup, “Bad” Brad Blackburn (10-9) will square off with Ray Perales (9-13).
Bodog Fight Presents: “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. 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.
About Bodog Fight
Since its inception in 2006, Bodog Fight has become one of the heavy-hitters in the world of mixed martial arts. Created by billionaire entertainment mogul and longtime MMA enthusiast, Calvin Ayre, Bodog Television’s Bodog Fight series offers viewers a unique combination of action and allure from exotic locations throughout the world. Bodog Fight can be viewed online at bodoglife.net. For more information, contact Media Relations at 1-866-892-3371, or firstname.lastname@example.org. BODOG is a registered trademark.