Photos: Esther Lin/STRIKEFORCE
FRESNO, Calif. – All the fighters who will compete on an excellent STRIKEFORCE Challengers event presented by Rockstar Energy Drink at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., tomorrow/Friday, Oct. 22, at Save Mart Center live on SHOWTIME® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) made weight Thursday at Radisson hotel.
In the main event, welterweight Relentless” Roger Bowling (8-0) of Cincinnati will put his unbeaten record on the line one more time against “Vicious” Bobby Voelker (22-8) of Kansas City, Mo., in a rematch of an exciting fight last May 21 that ended prematurely due to an accidental poke in the eye.
Other televised fights on SHOWTIME: Lavar “Big” Johnson (14-3), Fresno, Calif., vs. Virgil “RezDog” Zwicker (9-1), Temecula, Calif., heavyweights; Billy Evangelista (10-0, 1 NC), Fresno, vs. Waachiim “Native Warrior’’ Spirit Wolf (8-6-1), San Diego, Calif., at 165 pounds; Shana “Rock Solid’’ Olsen (4-0), Burnsville, Minn., vs. Julia “The Jewel” Budd (pro debut), Sechelt, British Columbia, middleweights (145 pounds); and Brandon Cash (5-2), Fresno, vs. John Devine (5-2), San Francisco, heavyweights.
Tickets for the STRIKEFORCE Challengers event are on sale at the Save Mart Center box office, select Save Mart Supermarkets, all Ticketmaster locations (800) 745-3000, Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com) and STRIKEFORCE’s official website (www.strikeforce.com).
Doors will open at 4:45 p.m. PT. The first preliminary bout will begin at 5:30 p.m. The first televised match starts at 8 p.m. PT.
What the fighters said Thursday:
“Just like the last time, this is going to be a war from start to finish against a great opponent. I’ve trained really well and I’m very confident.
“I don’t want to leave any doubt this time around.’’
“I feel great and am very hungry and very emotional for this fight and want it really badly. I’ve been pumped since the rematch was made.
“I’ve been working on a lot of new things and making changes so I can improve. Roger is a tough guy, for sure. I’m used to being the bully, but I got blitzed a little the first time.
“No matter how this fight starts out, I plan on hitting him in the face.’’
“My weight’s back up, my timing and balance are better and overall I just feel great.
“I’m looking forward to putting everything behind me so I can concentrate on fighting and knocking guys out. I don’t want to just be known as the guy who got shot.
“This guy’s strength is standing so I hope it plays out that way. No one wants to watch a couple of big dudes rolling around the cage.
“I am definitely not looking past Zwicker, who’s aggressive and probably a little faster than me. But I know a good win could put me in line to fight some of STRIKEFORCE’s top heavyweights, which is definitely what I want to do. There are a few good fights out there for me.’’
“I am totally focused and feel 100 percent ready, both physically and mentally. This is a tremendous chance for me to show what I can do, maybe the best I’ve had, and that’s why I’ve worked so hard.
“I’m confident I can cease the opportunity on Friday.’’
“I’m injury free, feel great and looking for a good fight Friday and then, ultimately, to a return to 155 pounds. I’m in good condition but after not fighting for 11 months fighting at around 165 made sense.
“There are plenty of top fighters at 155 in STRIKEFORCE and I’m willing to fight any of them. I definitely plan on fighting more often and going after the big guys at 155.’’
WAACHIM SPIRIT WOLF
“I actually had a full camp for this so I’m excited and anxious and ready to go. This will be a fantastic fight. To fight an undefeated fighter on SHOWTIME is a tremendous opportunity and what it’s all about.
“I’ve already fought three guys that were unbeaten going in against me and I am 3-0.
“This is actually a homecoming for me because I was born in Fresno and lived here until I was about two-years-old.’’
“I’ve trained hard and my goal is to win. I don’t put pressure on myself to win impressively. I am fighting a Muay Thai champion who defeated Gina Carano, so my work is cut out for me.
“But this is a sport and a time and place in my life where I belong. I have a strong desire to make it to the top, and right now I am in the process of working my way up.’’
“I am fighting someone who’s strong and knows what she’s doing, but I’m also strong, fit and ready to go.
“I take it one fight at a time and I work to be the best so I can fight the best, but there is no doubt I am stepping up for this one and will be the underdog.
“I love MMA, putting in the work, the lifestyle and the challenge.’’
“Every fight is a must-win and this is the most motivated I’ve ever been for a fight. My weight is good, my mind is good and I am raring to go.
“I’m coming to fight. That doesn’t mean I won’t be patient, but the plan is I just want to knock him out.’’
“He’s a good striker who comes out fast, but I am a better wrestler than him. This is such a great opportunity for me and I really want to thank STRIKEFORCE. I’m confident I’ll finish him.’’