Shana Nelson vs Leslie Smith Targeted For February 18Strikeforce veteran Shana “Rock Solid” Nelson will make her bantamweight debut against one-time Bellator competitor Leslie Smith at Cage Fighting Xtreme: “Winter Brawl” on February 18th in Fargo, North Dakota. Event matchmaker Chris Nelson confirmed the bout with

Nelson won each of her first four fights leading into her Strikeforce debut in October 2010, but suffered her first loss against Julia “The Jewel” Budd. She will look to get back on the winning track at 135 pounds against Smith, who has won two of her past three and also looks to rebound from a loss.

Nelson (4-2-0) made a name for herself in late 2009 with an upset victory over EliteXC veteran Kaitlin Young in just her second pro fight. She went on to score two more wins in 2010, including a close but Unanimous Decision victory over Japanese MMA pioneer Yoko Takahashi. Nelson left the confines of Minnesota for her Strikeforce debut with Budd, but was controlled on the ground and ultimately stopped by strikes from her larger opponent in the second round. Nelson fought once in 2011, but suffered a decision loss against fellow Strikeforce veteran Elaina “Beef” Maxwell for Crowbar MMA, which will be co-promoting the CFX card when Nelson returns to action in February.

Smith (3-2-0) also jumped right into the proverbial fire early in her career when she battled Muay Thai standout Kerry Vera in her second pro bout for Bellator Fighting Championships. Smith came up just short in the bout with Vera, but posted back-to-back victories in 2010 before taking time off from the sport. She returned to action on October 1st as part of the female-focused BlackEye Promotions 5 card in North Carolina, but dropped a Unanimous Decision to Brazilian Ediane “India” Gomes in a featured bout on the card. Smith has split her time between bantamweight and featherweight, but returns to her more natural weight of 135 pounds to face Nelson.

CFX: “Winter Brawl” takes place on February 18th at the Scheels Arena in Fargo, North Dakota. The card also features a pair of men’s title bouts. Indalecio Tat “Mean Bean” Romero faces once-beaten Leo Kuntz in a welterweight title clash. Jeremy Stetz battles Billy Jochum for the bantamweight belt.



(Photo Credit: Christina Garcia)

  1. BW will help her career.