K.J. Noons vs Billy Evangelista Confirmed For December 17A lightweight bout between former EliteXC champion “King” K.J. Noons and once-beaten prospect Billy Evangelista is now official for the upcoming Strikeforce: “Melendez vs Masvidal” card on December 17th in San Diego, California. Strikeforce officials confirmed the matchup earlier today.

Both fighters are coming off of setbacks against main event participant Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal in their most recent Strikeforce appearances. Noons challenged unsuccessfully for the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship in October 2010. Evangelista will look to rebound from his first pro loss.

Noons (10-4-0) bounced back after an upset loss to veteran brawler Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett in his February 2007 EliteXC debut and went on to capture the promotion’s 160-pound title nine months later with a first-round stoppage of Nick Diaz. He defended the belt once before EliteXC’s collapse and won three more fights leading up to his rematch with Diaz last October. After five rounds of what was predominantly a kickboxing bout, Diaz avenged his loss to Noons. In June, Noons was outstruck by Masvidal en route to a Unanimous Decision defeat.

Evangelista (11-1-0, 1 ND) opened his career with nine straight victories before suffering a controversial disqualification loss to “Iron” Mike Aina at the inaugural Strikeforce Challengers event in May 2009. The loss was later overturned and Evangelista picked up big wins over Jorge Gurgel and Waachiim Spiritwolf in subsequent appearances for Strikeforce. Seemingly one win away from title contention, Evangelista faced off with Masvidal in March, but he was unable to contend with Masvidal’s striking and suffered his first legitimate loss.

With both fighters looking to rebound from defeats, the talented strikers will now square off on the main card of the December 17th Strikeforce event, which takes place at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez defends the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship against the aforementioned Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal in the night’s main event. Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos takes on Hiroko “Cat’s Eye” Yamanaka.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)