The State of Texas plays host to one of the most anticipated MMA events of the year this summer when the second half of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix fires up in Dallas on June 18. Already headlined by Fabricio Werdum facing Alistair Overeem, as well as Josh Barnett battling Brett Rogers, in quarter-final action the card now appears to feature another long awaited occurrence in form of crossover sensation Gina Carano’s return to the ring.
Carano’s presence on the line-up was revealed Saturday night during the broadcast for “Strikeforce – Diaz vs. Daley” though no opponent was mentioned. An interview with CEO Scott Coker on MMAFighting revealed 5-1 Cindy Dandois had originally been scheduled but had to withdraw after finding out she was pregnant.
A bout pitting undefeated prospects Daniel Cormier (7-0) and Shane Del Rosario (11-0) against each other was also announced, in addition to a match-up between Chad Griggs (10-1) and Valentijn Overeem (29-25), as means of potentially determining an alternate in the heavyweight tournament if one is needed.
Overeem, older brother of Grand Prix participant Alistair, has won three straight fights including his Strikeforce debut in February against Ray Sefo and has remarkably finished twenty-eight of the twenty-nine opponents he’s beaten. Griggs has also been on a tear as of late with five consecutive victories including four first round TKOs.
Meanwhile, Cormier and Del Rosario are considered to be two of the brightest up-and-big boys in the sport given their combined eighteen wins and zero losses. Cormier, a decorated amateur wrestler, has ended six of his adversaries’ evenings before the bout’s closing bell while Del Rosario has yet to even see the seventh minute in any of his eleven professional pairings.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE