MMA

Prelims Take Shape for Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal

Justin Wilcox

Roger Bowling vs. Jerron Peoples among additions

Strikeforce has added three fights to the preliminary card of its next show, including a bout involving up-and-coming lightweights Caros Fodor and Justin Wilcox.

The promotion added the three bouts to its official website Tuesday. Two had been previously reported; a third, a welterweight fight between Roger Bowling and Jerron Peoples, was a new addition. Also on the preliminary card is a heavyweight bout between Devin Cole and Gabriel Salinas-Jones.

Fodor (6-1, 4-0 Strikeforce) has won four straight, all in the Strikeforce Challengers series. He gets a promotion to a regular Strikeforce card for his fight with Wilcox. In June, Fodor beat James Terry by unanimous decision. Wilcox (11-3, 1 NC, 5-1, 1 NC Strikeforce) had a six-fight winning streak broken by a no contest against Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante in June when he couldn’t continue after an accidental eye poke from Cavalcante in the second round. He hasn’t lost since his Strikeforce debut in September 2008, an armbar tapout to Mitsuhiro Ishida at the Playboy Mansion. Wilcox’s training home is the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif.

Bowling (9-2, 2-2 Strikeforce) is coming off his second loss to Bobby Voelker – he dropped the last two of the three fights in their trilogy. But those two fights are the only losses of his career. In March, Bowling won a unanimous decision over Josh Thornburg in his home state of Ohio. Peoples (4-1, 0-1 Strikeforce) lost his Strikeforce debut in June, a first-round TKO setback against Eduardo Pamplona at Strikeforce Challengers 16. He took that fight less than three weeks after his last victory for the Respect in the Cage promotion in his native California.

Cole (19-9-1, 1-1 Strikeforce) beat Shawn Jordan by unanimous decision in a July Challengers show and now gets his first shot on a major Strikeforce card. The veteran of more than eight years has fights against the likes of Aaron Rosa, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, Ben RothWell, Krzysztof Soszynski and Jeff Monson on his resume – all losses, and most earlier in his career. Salinas (5-0-1, 1-0 Strikeforce) made his Strikeforce debut in his native Chicagoland in July, beating Bryan Humes with a third-round Brabo choke.

Strikeforce: Meldenez vs. Masvidal takes place Dec. 17 in San Diego at the Valley View Casino. The main card, which will air live on Showtime, features a lightweight title fight between champion Gilbert Melendez and top contender Jorge Masvidal. The co-main event features the return of women’s featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, who will put her 145-pound title on the line against Hiroko Yamanaka, who will be fighting for the first time outside her native Japan.

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