A middleweight bout between Danillo Villefort and Nathan James has been scheduled for Strikeforce Challengers 18 on Aug. 12 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Villefort’s management team at Authentic Sports Management confirmed the fight to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
A WEC and UFC veteran, Villefort (13-3) was originally slated to make his Strikeforce debut against Antwain Britt at Strikeforce Challengers 16 in June, but injuries forced both fighters to the sidelines. He’s now recouped and ready to go.
“I’m excited to get back in the cage, my whole team is behind me, and I am one hundred percent ready to go,” said Villefort.
He enters the bout on a four-fight winning streak that includes impressive victories over Matt Horwich and Joey Villasenor under the Shark Fights banner.
Villefort is part of the newly formed Imperial Athletics fight team that includes his brother, Yuri, as well as UFC middleweight Jorge Santiago and Strikeforce lightweight Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante.
James (12-7-1) is 3-1 in his last four starts; his only loss in that stretch was dropping a split decision to fellow prospect Tyler Stinson in a Bellator bout. James trains at American Kickboxing Academy alongside the likes of UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, and welterweight contenders Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, and Mike Swick.
“I’m sure he’s going to be ready, but my job is to beat him down,” said Villefort. “With James, I’m going to make a statement to let all the 185-pounders know I’m here, and that I’m going to take over the middleweight division, starting on August 12.”
Strikeforce: Challengers 18 features a main event pitting UFC veteran Jorge Gurgel against Joe Duarte.
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