Fights Confirmed For Strikeforce Challengers 8Strikeforce has confirmed a pair of fights for the eighth instalment of its Challengers Series, which takes place on May 21st at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. Undefeated prospect Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley will face SportFight Welterweight Champion Nathan Coy in the night’s main event. first reported on the planned bout.

Also on the card, Muay Thai standout Kerry Vera will look to keep her unblemished record intact when she faces Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Peña in a 135-pound women’s bout. Peña has also yet to taste defeat.

Woodley (6-0-0) has quickly emerged as one of the top prospects in the welterweight division. All six of his victories have come by submission and he has shown improvement in each fight. Woodley made his Strikeforce debut on the undercard of Strikeforce: “Lawler vs Shields” last June and submitted Sal Woods in the first round. He has since gone on to defeat Zach “The Lisbon Outlaw” Light and Rudy “Bad News” Bears in Strikeforce Challengers bouts. Woodley will headline a Challengers card for the second time when he tangles with Coy in May.

Coy (8-2-0) fought for Strikeforce at “Strikeforce At The Dome” in February 2008 and scored a first-round knockout win, but has since spent much of his time competing in SportFight. He captured the promotion’s welterweight title in mid-2008 and holds a victory over current UFC contender Mike Pierce. Back-to-back losses derailed Coy’s plans to return to the big show, but he has since rebounded with three consecutive victories. A win over the highly-touted Woodley would immediately solidify Coy as a title contender in Strikeforce.

Vera (2-0-0) rose to fame as the winner of the Muay Thai-themed Fight Girls reality show and made her mixed martial arts debut for Bellator Fighting Championships last May. After defeating Leslie Smith in an action-packed battle, Vera moved on to Strikeforce and brutally dispatched of Kim “Sugar Free” Couture in a much-hyped matchup at Strikeforce Challengers 5. Vera and her trainers have stated intentions to gradually build up her career and Peña will be a suitable opponent for the rising star.

Peña (2-0-0) made her pro debut in August of 2009 and stopped Robyn Dunne in the first round. She picked up her second straight victory by submitting Stephanie Webber at a CageSport MMA event last December and will take a significant step up in competition in her Strikeforce debut. With well-rounded striking and submission skills, Peña has quietly made a name for herself in the Pacific Northwest. The Washington native could go from a relative unknown to an overnight sensation if she is able to upset Vera, who has been hailed as a future title challenger.

Strikeforce Challengers 8 takes place on May 21st at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The event will air live on Showtime in the United States and Super Channel in Canada.


(Photo Credit:

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robert Sargent. Robert Sargent said: Woodley vs Coy, Vera vs Pena Confirmed For @Strikeforce Challengers 8 (via @ULTMMA and @MMAjunkie) – #Strikeforce #MMA […]