Four Fights Confirmed For Strikeforce: Columbus Main CardFour fights are now confirmed for the main card of Strikeforce: Columbus on March 5th. Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Champion Marloes “Rumina” Coenen faces Miesha “Takedown” Tate, while Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante battles Dan “Hendo” Henderson.

Decorated military veteran Tim Kennedy will no longer face Jason “Mayhem” Miller on the March card, and has instead been matched up against rising middleweight star Luke Rockhold. Unbeaten Billy Evangelista squares off with Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal in a potential lightweight contender’s bout.

Coenen (18-4-0) will be looking to make the first defence of her newly-won 135-pound title against Tate (11-2-0) after capturing the belt by submitting Sarah Kaufman in October. All but two of Coenen’s wins have come by stoppage and she is widely regarded as one of the very best female submission fighters in mixed martial arts. She will hold a decided experience advantage over Tate, but will have to contend with her opponent’s strong wrestling skills and top control. Coenen is comfortable fighting off of her back and has earned many wins with armbars from the bottom; something that Tate, who won last year’s four-woman 135-pound women’s tournament, will need to be wary of.

Cavalcante (10-2-0) has won six of his last seven fights, all by way of knockout, and became Strikeforce champion by upsetting Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in August. Cavalcante has never gone the distance in his career and holds an impressive nine victories by knockout. His opponent, Henderson (26-8-0), is no stranger to KO wins and holds 11 of his own, including a recent stoppage of former champ Renato “Babalu” Sobral. Henderson has never been knocked out in his storied career and has won four of his last five fights to earn another shot at Strikeforce gold. A previous bid for the promotion’s 185-pound title last year was unsuccessful, as Henderson was decisioned by Jake Shields.


Kennedy (12-3-0) was expected to engage in a third bout with rival Jason “Mayhem” Miller on the Ohio card, but will instead take on fast-rising prospect Rockhold (7-1-0) in a pivotal bout for both. Kennedy most recently challenged Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship, but came out on the wrong end of a close decision. Rockhold, meanwhile, has finished six opponents in a row and is currently one of the brightest prospects in Strikeforce. A win for Rockhold would propel him into title contention, while Kennedy looks to earn another shot at Souza in the near future.

Evangelista (11-0-0, 1 ND) is another top prospect with his eyes on Strikeforce gold, and he has yet to taste defeat. Aside from a controversial bout with “Iron” Mike Aina in May of 2009 that was later ruled a No Decision, Evangelista sports an unblemished record and possesses considerable technical skill as a kickboxer. He will now face Masvidal (20-6-0), who holds ten wins by knockout. Masvidal has recently encountered tough times and is just 3-3 in his last six bouts, though some felt that he deserved the win in a close decision against welterweight standout Paul “Semtex” Daley in September.


Strikeforce: Columbus takes place on March 5th at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.



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