More Fights Announced For Strikeforce: MiamiWith just over three weeks until the event, Strikeforce has finalised two bouts for its January 30th Strikeforce: Miami card. Middleweight knockout artists “Marvellous” Melvin Manhoef and “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler will square off in what is certain to be an explosive matchup, while UFC veterans Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron and Joe “Diesel” Riggs do battle at 170 pounds.

Hieron, who was originally set to face Nick Diaz for the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight Championship in August, now finds himself out of the title picture and relegated to competing on the undercard.

Manhoef (24-6-1) has established himself as the most feared striker in the middleweight division with an astounding 23 wins by a form of knockout. He most recently dispatched of 2006 PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix Champion Kazuo “The Hitman” Misaki at K-1 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve, though the result of the fight is under review due to an apparent early stoppage from the referee. Manhoef will make his Strikeforce debut on the January 30th card.

Lawler (16-5-0, 1 NC) is another premier striker in the division and holds 13 wins by knockout. The former EliteXC Middleweight Champion was upset in his Strikeforce debut in June when he was submitted by reigning Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields. Lawler was initially set to face Trevor Prangley at Strikeforce: “Evolution” on December 19th, but the fight was cancelled when Prangley withdrew due to injury.

Hieron (18-4-0) has won six straight fights since his 40-second upset loss to “Bad” Brad Blackburn in the International Fight League. He captured the IFL Welterweight Championship at the end of 2007 and later knocked out Jason High in just 64 seconds at Affliction: “Day of Reckoning.” Hieron was scheduled to battle Nick Diaz to crown a Strikeforce Welterweight Champion in August, but Diaz failed to complete pre-fight drug tests. Hieron went on to defeat TUF alum Jesse “JT Money” Taylor, but now finds himself on the undercard.

Riggs (32-10-0, 1 NC) has won seven of nine bouts since departing the UFC in late 2006. Known for his vicious punching power, Riggs has finished 29 opponents in his career and remains as a tough test for anyone in the welterweight or middleweight divisions. He last competed for Strikeforce in June and defeated “The New York Bad Ass” Phil Baroni by Unanimous Decision. A victory over Hieron would place Riggs firmly among the top contenders at 170 pounds.


Strikeforce: Miami is headlined by a Strikeforce Welterweight Championship bout between Nick Diaz and Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis. Strikeforce Women’s Lightweight (145-Pound) Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos also defends her crown against Dutch standout Marloes Coenen.

The event takes place on January 30th at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida and airs live on Showtime in the U.S. and Super Channel in Canada.