Booking Roundup: Four UFC And Strikeforce Fights Announced

Jorge Masvidal

Four preliminary bouts announced by UFC, Strikeforce

UFC injury news was the highlight of the week in mixed martial arts, but it was business as usual with fight bookings.

Four preliminary card match ups were announced over the past few days, including match ups for Jorge Masvidal, Josh Grispi, and Ryan Couture.

Have a look.

Jorge Masvidal meets Justin Wilcox in Portland

A lightweight bout between Justin Wilcox and Jorge Masvidal is official for “Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy.”

Officials from the promotion confirmed the fight this week.

Masvidal last competed at “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal,” competing for the lightweight title against champion Gilbert Melendez. He lost via unanimous decision, while Wilcox, like his upcoming opponent, also was defeated in his last contest. The wrestler lost to Caros Fodor via first round knockout.

Francisco Rivera replaces Figueroa against Ken Stone in L.A.

An injury to Edwin Figueroa has forced the bantamweight out of his “UFC on FOX 4” bout against Ken Stone, and Francisco Rivera has stepped in as a replacement.

The promotion recently confirmed news of the change.

Rivera last fought at “UFC on FUEL TV 3,” defeating Alex Soto via unanimous decision in the event’s opening contest. Currently on a three-fight winning streak, Rivera finds himself with an overall record of 8-2, as he prepares for his second UFC bout.

Stone, meanwhile, finds himself coming off a much-needed win of his own, defeating Donny Walker at “UFC Fight Night 25.” The victory snapped a two-fight skid, which included his devastating knockout loss to Scott Jorgensen in his UFC debut.

Josh Grispi vs. Rani Yahya official for “UFC on FOX 4”

A featherweight bout between Josh Grispi and Rani Yahya is official for “UFC on FOX 4,” according to UFC officials

Grispi was originally expected to meet Pablo Garza at the August event, but an injury forced Garza out of the contest, leaving the UFC in search of a new opponent.

Once a highly-touted prospect at the 145 lb. mark, it seems ages since Grispi was knocking on the door for a title shot against champion Jose Aldo. He last fought at “The Ultimate Fighter Finale 13,” losing to George Roop via third round technical knockout. The loss was his second in a row, leaving him without a victory since June of 2010.

Unlike his upcoming opponent, Yahya has earned a victory in the UFC, defeating Mike Brown at “UFC Fight Night: Fight For The Troops 2.” However, a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Chad Mendes at UFC 133 has Yahya on a one-fight losing streak.

Ryan Couture vs. Joe Duarte set for “Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy”

A lightweight bout between Joe Duarte and Ryan Couture has been added to the preliminary card of “Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy,” according to Strikeforce officials.

Couture has spent the entirety of his five-fight career under the Strikeforce banner, going 4-1 as a professional. He last fought at “Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey,” earning a technical knockout win over Conor Heun.

A 12-fight veteran of the sport, Duarte last competed at “Strikeforce Challengers 18” against Jorge Gurgel, earning the unanimous decision victory. He is currently on a five-fight winning streak.


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