January’s quickly filling “Stikeforce: Champions” card has yet another addition.
Middleweights Roger Gracie (5-1 MMA, 3-1 SF) and Anthony Smith (17-8 MMA, 2-1 SF) have agreed to fight at the Jan. 12 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the bout with sources close to the event following an initial report from MMA Opinion.
“Strikeforce: Champions” takes place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The main card airs on Showtime, though Gracie vs. Smith is expected to be part of the Showtime Extreme-televised prelims.
Gracie, a Brazilian jiujitsu black belt and multi-time world champion grappler, fights for the first time since July, when he scored a decision victory over big-show vet Keith Jardine. Prior to that, he won his first four pro fights (all via submission) before a knockout loss to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in September 2011.
Smith, meanwhile, is currently on an impressive 9-1 run, and the lone loss came to Adlan Amagov at Strikeforce Challengers 20. Since then, the well-rounded fighter has won three consecutive fights, including a submission victory over Lumumba Sayers in August. It was his 17th stoppage in 17 career wins.
The latest “Strikeforce: Champions” card now includes:
Champ Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine – for welterweight title
Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring
Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle
Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino*
Ryan Couture vs. K.J. Noons
Pat Healy vs. Jorge Masvidal*
Roger Gracie vs. Anthony Smith*
* – Not officially announced