NEW YORK – Two fights have been added to an exciting STRIKEFORCE Challengers event Friday, Nov. 19, at Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson, Miss., live on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
STRIKEFORCE formally announced today that power-punching Jan “Cuddles’’ Finney (8-8) of Springfield, Ohio, will be opposed by unbeaten Liz “Girl-Rilla’’ Carmouche (4-0) of San Diego, Calif., in a key women’s match at 135 pounds (welterweight) and Caros “The Future” Fodor (6-2) of Seattle, Wash., will throw down with Derek “The Pretzel’’ Getzel (2-1) of Andover, Minn., at lightweight (155 pounds).
In the main event, lightweight star and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro (20-4) will take on Justin “The Silverback” Wilcox (9-3) of Cincinnati. Another televised fight will feature former University of Tennessee linebacker Ovince St. Preux (7-4), of Knoxville, Tenn., who will be seeking his fifth consecutive conquest inside the distance when he faces Antwain “The Juggernaut’’ Britt’’ (11-4) of Virginia Beach, Va., in a light heavyweight (205 pounds) scrap.
The MMA fight card is presented by Rockstar Energy Drink and will mark STRIKEFORCE’s initial foray into the state of Mississippi.
Tickets are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Coliseum box office and Be-Bop Record Shops, by phone at 800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com and www.STRIKEFORCE.com.
The winner in what will be an excellent women’s fight stays alive for a world title shot in STRIKEFORCE’s wide-open, contentious 135-pound division. The STRIKEFORCE champion, Marloes Coenen, is scheduled to make her first defense against No. 1 contender Miesha Tate in 2011.
Finney’s nickname belies her attitude and fighting style. “I’m far from cuddly. I’m more like a bull in a china shop,’’ she said.
This will mark Finney’s return to her natural weight of 135 pounds. In her last start, the strong striker and one of MMA’s most determined practitioners lost a toe-to-toe-slugfest with STRIKEFORCE Middleweight (145 pounds) World Champion and the No. 1 female fighter in MMA, Cris Cyborg, last June 26.
Finney’s record belies her abilities. Aside from Cyborg, her losses have come against top fighters such as Tate, Julie Kedzie and Erin Toughill. All the fights went to the judges’ scorecards. The Cyborg defeat was only the second time she’d been stopped on strikes.
Finney’s most noteworthy victory came on a decision over Adrienna Jenkins (17-2 going in) on March 27, 2010.
Carmouche is coming off a second-round TKO over Valentina Shevchenko on Sept. 30. In her outing before last on Aug. 13, Carmouche went the distance for the only time in her career, scoring a unanimous decision over Colleen Schneider in a “reserve bout” in the STRIKEFORCE single-elimination women’s 135-pound tournament, which was won by Tate.
In the 5-foot-5 Carmouche’s other fights, she won by second-round TKO in her pro debut last May 29 and by second-round submission (armbar) over Margarita de la Cruz the following June 26.
A 25-year-old of Lebanese descent, Carmouche was born in Okinawa, Japan, and currently resides in San Diego. She spent seven years in the Marines during which she toured The Middle East.
Carmouche trains at Undisputed Fitness and Training in San Diego with Manolo Hernandez and Baret Yoshida, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion.
Fodor, a 5-foot-9, 26-year-old who is trained by Matt Hume and fights out of AMC Kickboxing and Pankration, is a well-rounded fighter known for his mental toughness and ability to finish.
A winner in six of his last seven fights, Fodor won via decision for the first time when he earned a unanimous points victory over Thomas Diagne in his last outing last July 23 on STRIKEFORCE Challengers. Afterward, he apologized for letting the fight go to the judges’ scorecards.
“I really don’t have an excuse, I was a little bit off,” said Fodor, who dominated and had Diagne in serious trouble on a few occasions. “I apologize for that. I don’t like decisions. I want to end all my fights.’’
Fodor, whose brother, Ben, also fights MMA, wrestled in high school but entered the Marines six days after graduation. While he was in boot camp, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 occurred and he was sent to Kuwait for the Iraq invasion. He returned home in 2003 after one tour.
After an extensive, successful amateur career in which he was the Genesis Fights MMA and Muay Thai champion and Revolution submission champion., Fodor turned pro in September 2005.
Outside the cage, Fodor, who once had his sights set on becoming a homicide director, is a trainer at a health club and works with mentally challenged kids while remaining active in the reserves.
Getzel is a 5-foot-7, 23-year-old Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu specialist. He’ll be making his STRIKEFORCE debut and first start since defeating Johnny Case on a career-best first-round TKO last Feb 26.
“I’ve very excited about finally getting this opportunity for STRIKEFORCE,’’ said Getzel, who registered a 4:11, first-round TKO (punches) over Dustin Petron on Nov. 25, 2009.
Getzel turned pro on Sept. 12, 2009.
Doors at Jackson Convention Complex will open at 6:45 p.m. CT. The first non-televised preliminary bout will begin at 7:30 p.m. The first fight on SHOWTIME will begin at 10 p.m.