by MMAWeekly.com Staff
(Photos by Daisy Rosas – Strikeforce)
The fighters for Friday’s inaugural Sho MMA: Strikeforce Challengers Series event on Showtime weighed in on Thursday night at the World Sports Café in Fresno, Calif., and all 10 bouts are now officially ready to go.
The main event pits undefeated Billy Evangelista in the biggest fight of his career. In front of his hometown crowd, he faces tough B.J. Penn-trained Hawaiian Mike Aina.
“This is the first time I’ve had to deal with this type of attention, but I always feel I have to do more to stay unbeaten. The pressure is always there, but maybe there is a little more because this is in my hometown. I’m just going in to do my best and let it happen and see how it plays out,” said Evangelista.
“I think maybe my hands are faster than his, but we’ll see. I know my Muay Thai is better, so I will want to keep it standing and stay on the inside and deliver short kicks and uppercuts.”
Aina has no plans to be just another notch in Evangelista’s belt. “I really hope they don’t think I am a stepping stone because they are in for a big surprise if they do.I plan to spoil his homecoming and win one for all my fans in my hometown in Hawaii, who have always been there and supported me.
“This is a long trip for me and I did not come here to lose.”
There are several fights on the card that feature some of the top rising talent in the Strikeforce promotion, fighters trying to make their way onto a major Strikeforce event. Chief among them is a bout between two of the top women in the sport. Canadian Sarah Kaufman steps in on short notice for a withdrawing Kim Couture. Having fought just three weeks ago, the undefeated Kaufman faces Miesha Tate – currently 5-1 – with the winner taking a big step forward in her career.
Sho MMA: Strikeforce Challengers Series will air live Friday night beginning at 11 p.m. ET on Showtime.
Main Card Bouts (on Showtime):
-Billy Evangelista (157.5) vs. Mike Aina (175.2)
-Sarah Kaufman (135) vs. Miesha Tate (135.4)
-Lavar Johnson (246.4) vs. Carl Seumanutafa (250.5)
-Anthony Ruiz (205.2) vs. Aaron Rosa (205.4)
-Bao Quach (145.8) vs. Tito Jones (145.6)
Preliminary Bouts (non-televised)
-Ben Holscher (160.2) vs. Cody Cantebury (160)
-Zoila Frausto (129.8) vs. Avery Vilche (122.8)
-Thomas Diagne (155.6) vs. Kaleo Kwan (155.4)
-Fabricio “Morango” Camoes (156.2) vs. Torrance Taylor (155.8)
-Chad Sutton (184) vs. Spencer Herns (180.6)