by MMAWeekly.com Staff
The second installment of SHO MMA: Strikeforce Challenger Series now has a main event.
The recently announced card has acquired a middleweight match-up between Joey Villasenor and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos to be held June 19 at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash.
Strikeforce confirmed the news in a press release issued Tuesday evening.
Villasenor makes his return after more than a year on the bench due to the woes of ProElite, Inc. A disciple of famed Jackson’s MMA, he was acquired in September by Strikeforce as one of 42 fighter contracts purchased by the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion.
Villasenor went 4-1 in the now-defunct EliteXC, last defeating Phil Baroni on the promotion’s CBS debut last May. He was scheduled to rematch middleweight champion Robbie Lawler last November, but the organization was shuttered before he could avenge a late 2006 loss to the Midwestern slugger.
Originally rumored to be returning on the first installment of SHO MMA due for May 15, the 33-year-old Albuquerque native was recently re-shuffled to the Pacific Northwest card.
Santos, 31, signed with Strikeforce last year, but also sat on the shelf until now. He fought last September at Sengoku 5, when an elbow injury took him from a bout with Siyar Bahadurzada. The loss was his third in four appearances since a short 2006 stint in Pride, where he also met mixed results with a win and loss. His overall record stands at 16-12.
Santos shares his nickname with wife Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, who is widely expected to face Gina Carano in August.
Also confirmed for the June 19 card were Jorge Gurgel, who faces EliteXC vet Conor Heun; Cory Devela, who’s opponent remains unknown, and Devela mentor Dennis Hallman, who also remains without opponent.