PRESS RELEASE: Three more EXCITING FIGHTS added to STRIKEFORCE Challengers Texas

PRESS RELEASE: NEW YORK (Feb. 14, 2011)

THREE MORE EXCITING FIGHTS ROUND OUT
STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS EVENT
AT CEDAR PARK CENTER IN CEDAR PARK, TEXAS,
THIS FRIDAY, FEB. 18, LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

Matchups Pit California Fighters Bryan Travers, Erik Apple, Tarzan Douglas,
Against Texas’ Carlo Prater, Ryan Larson, Nick Gonzalez, Respectively

NEW YORK (Feb. 14, 2011) – Bryan Travers (14-2), of Bakersfield, Calif., takes on Carlo “Neo’’ Prater (25-10-1) of Bryan, Texas, at a catch weight of 160 pounds, Erik “Bad’’ Apple (10-2), of Laguna Niguel, Calif., will be opposed by local favorite Ryan Larson (5-2), of Austin, Texas, in a welterweight (170 pounds) skirmish and David “Tarzan’’ Douglas (5-2) of Antioch, Calif., takes on Austin fan favorite Nick “The Ghost’’ Gonzalez (16-8, 1 NC) at 150 pounds in featured bouts of a STRIKEFORCE Challengers fight card presented by Rockstar Energy Drink at Cedar Park Center in the Austin suburb of Cedar Park, Texas, this Friday, Feb. 18, live on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

In the main event, unbeaten rising star Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm (15-0) of Spokane, Wash., takes on dangerous veteran Pat “Bam Bam’’ Healy (25-17) of St. Louis. Unbeaten lightweights Ryan Couture (1-0), of Las Vegas, the son of MMA legend Randy Couture, and Houston’s Lee Higgins (2-0) will clash in another televised fight.

Tickets for STRIKEFORCE’s third event in 21 days and second in the Lone Star State are on sale at Cedar Park Center ticket office, all Ticketmaster locations (800) 745-3000, Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com) and STRIKEFORCE’s official website (www.strikeforce.com).

The first non-televised, undercard fight will begin at 8 p.m. CT. Doors will open at 7:15 p.m.
The Californians, Travers, Apple and Douglas will be making their second starts on a STRIKEFORCE Challengers card while the Texans, Prater and Larson will be making their debuts for the San Jose, Calif.-based MMA promotion. Gonzalez will be fighting for STRIKEFORCE for a second time.

A winner in seven of his last eight, the 5-foot-10, 27-year-old Travers is a terrific wrestler who unanimously outpointed Rocky Johnson on Aug. 27, 2010. Travers’ six-fight winning streak was ended in his outing before last by “Bam Bam’’ Healy, who won a decision during a Challengers event May 21, 2010, in Portland, Ore., on SHOWTIME. Travers’ most noteworthy triumph was a unanimous decision over former UFC and IFL vet John Gunderson in May ‘09.

Prater is an eight-year pro and former WEC title challenger. The 6-foot, 29-year-old, who’ll be looking to regain his winning ways in this one, was victorious in his initial 10 starts after turning pro in November ‘02. Last Sept. 10, Prater fought three times during a single-night tournament.

Apple is a skilled wrestler who is gigantic for the division. This will be the 6-footer’s first assignment since a second-round TKO loss (punches) to Bobby Voelker on STRIKEFORCE Challengers on Nov. 20, 2009, on SHOWTIME. In his outing before last, Apple submitted then-highly touted Matt Makowski on Sept. 26, 2008.

Larson, a product of Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Austin, has won by first-round submission in all but one of his victories. A pro since Feb. 10, 2006, he split his two outings in 2010, winning by first-round submission (rear-naked choke) over Anthony Macias on Feb. 27, and losing by an identical result to Derrick Hantz in his last fight on Aug. 20.

Douglas, a member of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, is a 5-foot-11 non-stop action fighter who has won five out of six, including a second-round TKO (punches) over Dominic Clark in a non-televised match on a STRIKEFORCE Challengers event last Oct. 22 in Fresno, Calif.

Douglas’ most memorable win came against Mongkhon Wiwasuk, aka Malaipet, a Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai champ in Thailand and an extremely dangerous striker, on Sept. 26, 2008, at Santa Ynez, Calif. He rallied to triumph by third-round TKO (punches) in a brawl that featured numerous changes in momentum, exceeded all expectations and, for sheer excitement, was as good as it gets.

Gonzalez is vastly more experienced than Douglas and has fought, among others, former STRIKEFORCE World Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson (June 26, 2007, on the undercard of Shamrock-Baroni in San Jose) and Yves Edwards on July 26, 2008. A winner by unanimous decision over Tim Snyder in his last start on Aug. 20, 2010, the 5-foot-6 Gonzalez is 2-0 with one No-Contest dating to August 2009.

The non-televised bouts will feature three promising fighters from Austin: Aaron Lan Franco
(1-0), of Austin, meets Thomas Diagne (1-2), of San Jose, at 155 pounds and in an all-Austin affair of unbeatens, Drew Pendleton (2-0) will be opposed by Dennis Dombrow (2-0) at 145.

About STRIKEFORCE
STRIKEFORCE is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose. In March 2009, STRIKEFORCE signed a multi-year agreement with SHOWTIME® to stage live events on the premium cable television network. The promotion has since also produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network.

Pre Strikeforce Challengers interview with Lee Higgins. “…the impossible is possible.”

Got in a few words with Lee Higgins who, with a 2-0 Pro Record, is definetly getting what most dream of, an opportunity to showcase his skills to the World watching Strikeforce Challengers Feb 18th on Showtime. On with the show!!

sPidA: Lee, thanks for making time for me brother! I’ll make this as quick as possible and let you get back to doing your thing. You have a Pro Record of 2-0 and already have a dream fight in the spotlight. You feeling any pressure bro?

Lee Higgins: Well, when I first heard about the fight I was feeling a bit of pressure but now I’m just training for the fight. I mean Randy Couture is Ryans dad and he’s a big name but I’m not fighting Randy, I’m fighting Ryan and we both are going in with something to prove. I’m 2-0 and coming out of this 3-0!

sPidA: I hear that bro, awesome answer! What’s your strategy going into this fight? Your last 2 fights you have won via submission, have you been working anything more than the other?

Lee Higgins: We’ve seen a lot of videos of him and have a pretty decent game plan going into this. The game plan is just that, to go in there and win the fight.

sPidA: What gym are you fighting out of and who’s your coach?

Lee Higgins: Its Urban Jungle and were out of Houston, TX man. Tony Torres Aponte is the owner and head coach there. Its an awesome gym and we have a lot of people that make it great!

sPidA: You guys have some great fighters in that gym. Like Marc Ramirez who will be fighting later this month for the IXFA and you guys had Stephanie Alba making her ammy debut last month as well. Hows the relationship with the people in the gym?

Lee Higgins: Its awesome man. Tony is a great Coach and tells us what we need to go into the fights. He does a great job of breaking everything down for us. I’ll be honest and say I lost my first 3 fights as an ammy but we worked it out and I’ve had 4 straight wins since then. Whether I’m fighting, Marc fighting or Stephanie, the gym really supports us and that’s an awesome feeling.

sPidA: Your last fight you actually fought a friend of mine Gilbert Jimenez, he came in with a win streak and tons of experience. Getting that win, did it help boost your confidence as a fighter?

Lee Higgins: Awe man, he took that fight on a weeks notice. I have a lot of respect for the guy for stepping in like that. My opponent pulled out of the fight and Gilbert stepped in.Tough guy for sure and a win over him was great!

sPidA: Great brother so how’s the support outsie the gym? Is your girlfriend one of your strongest suporters?

Lee Higgins: For sure man. She’s awesome and really helps me out a lot. Just from her helping me and putting up with me being a jerk. I know I’m a jerk and this coming week is going to be terrible (laughs). She’s part of the team and she’s a trooper man.

spidA: You have a daughter, how would you feel if years later she wants to get into the fight game?

Lee Higgins: Awe man, she’s a beautiful girl and yea, if she were to grow up and want to get into the game, I would definitely support her. She’ll be able to do whatever she wants. I would just make sure she had the right direction you know

sPidA: After your fight, are you looking to maybe show some hospitality and hang out with Ryan and Randy Couture?

Lee Higgins: Awe yea man, I’m hoping to meet his father after the fight, if he’ll let me (laughs). I mean, everybody loves his dad. He’s done a lot for the sport so yea, I’m hoping to meet him afterwards and possibly have him sign something for me. (laughs)

sPidA: After the fight, you will literally have the TV world watching. Have you given much thought as to what to say? It’s not like everyday you get an opportunity like this?

Lee Higgins: Man, everybody’s got a story and I just want to let people know that I didn’t have it easy. An opportunity like this like you said doesn’t come around often so my words to the world will be “the impossible is possible.” If you have a dream, it’s there, you just have to go and get it make it happen!

sPidA: Man, that just gave me goosebumps. Great words, just want to say thank you bro for giving me these few minutes. At Texas Fighting we’re fan based. Myself and Chris Lopez Jr will be there covering the event and we’ll be supporting our Texas locals as well as you. Any last words man?

Lee Higgins: Absolutely, I just want to thank Tony and Michelle from Urban Jungle. They’ve helped me with my fighting as well as just being there for me to talk. Everybody at the gym, great teammates. There really good people man .I also want to thank my girlfriend Cori. I really appreciate her being there. My boy Phillip and you guys for giving me the opportunity to talk to you and helping me get my name out here. Thank you!

LYLE BEERBOHM VS PAT HEALY IN STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS – CEDAR PARK, TEXAS

PRESS RELEASE: January 17, 2011 Cedar Park, Texas


LYLE BEERBOHM WILL FACE
PAT HEALY IN STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS
MAIN EVENT FRIDAY, FEB. 18, LIVE ON SHOWTIME®
AT CEDAR PARK CENTER IN CEDAR PARK, TEX.

The first non-televised, undercard fight will begin at 7:30 p.m. CT. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. .

Both Beerbohm and Healy are highly skilled 155-pounders who are trying to position themselves to contend for a possible shot at STRIKEFORCE World Champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez.

The experienced Healy has faced top quality opposition and is no stranger to a big fight. He showed his ability and tremendous determination in his last start, pushing former STRIKEFORCE World Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson to the limit before getting submitted (rear-naked choke) at 4:27 of the third and final scheduled round on June 26, 2010, on SHOWTIME.

All Beerbohm has done is win convincingly.

Beerbohm will be making his fourth start for STRIKEFORCE and his main event debut. This will be his initial appearance on SHOWTIME. In his last outing for STRIKEFORCE, Beerbohm won a split-decision over four-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro on May 15, 2010. It was only the second time one of Beerbohm’s fights went the distance.

A 5-foot-10, three-year pro, Beerbohm, who turns 32 on Feb. 5, has since fought twice, both in his home state of Washington. He is coming off a 2:48, first-round submission (guillotine choke) over Talon Hoffman on Dec. 4, 2010.

Beerbohm literally began his pro career after serving 366 days at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla as a result of felony convictions, all related to a crystal meth addiction. The day he was freed from prison, he visited a Jiu-Jitsu gym. He had his first amateur fight eight days after being released.

Since entering MMA, Beerbohm has found a discipline and determination that was missing in his life. “If I didn’t go to prison, I probably would be dead today,” he said. “Because I wouldn’t get cleaned up. I wouldn’t go to rehab. I wouldn’t get off the drugs. I didn’t want to get off the drugs. (Finally) I traded one addiction for the other. I traded meth for MMA.”

A top wrestler in high school, Beerbohm is a brawler who can switch between southpaw and orthodox stances. He went 12-0 in the amateurs, in spite of the obstacles he had to overcome. Although the vast majority of his fights have ended early and he’s recorded more KO’s than submissions, he still considers himself a grappler.

Beerbohm, whose nickname is derived from the custom-made, multi-colored trunks sewn by his mother, owns wins over former world Muay Thai champion and STRIKEFORCE and UFC veteran Duane “Bang’’ Ludwig as well as UFC vet Rafaello Oliveira. Beerbohm submitted (bulldog choke) Ludwig in the first round of a non-televised fight at a STRIKEFORCE Challengers event on June 19, 2009.

“I want to fight the best, I want to fight for the STRIKEFORCE title,’’ said Beerbohm, the head of Washington’s Fancy Pants Fight Team. “All I can do is continue to work hard and beat who they put in front of me. This is going to be a very difficult fight for both of us, but I’m confident of winning and moving up the ranks.

“I am very anxious to fight on SHOWTIME and show the fans and STRIKEFORCE what I can do. My goal is to fight for the world title. I want to be the champ. I want a five-round fight. That would be something else.’’

A member of Team Quest, Healy has been an active MMA fighter for nearly a decade. He’s ousted big-name, quality opponents all over the world since turning pro in August 2001, including Paul “Semtex’’ Daley, Carlos Condit and Dan Hardy.

The accomplished veteran is 1-1 in STRIKEFORCE. Before the Thomson tussle, Healy scored an impressive unanimous decision over Bryan Travers (13-1 going in) during a STRIKEFORCE Challengers event on May 21, 2010. It was a rare points victory for the well-conditioned, durable wrestling specialist who has won more than half his fights via submission.

Healy has won three of his last four bouts, and six of eight. “I was disappointed I didn’t quite get it done the last time, but I appreciate getting another opportunity against an up-and-coming fighter,’’ Healy said. “This fight is obviously very important to me. I’ll enter the cage with a lot of confidence.’’

Healy got his start in MMA at the age of 15, shortly after he and a brother stood up to a neighborhood bully and Muay Thai practitioner. Following the altercation, Pat wanted to learn more about technical fighting and sought out MMA gyms for formal training.

To supplement his MMA training regimen, he wrestled in high school, gaining All State accolades and eventually went on to wrestle at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville. Following college, Pat knew that he had the potential to do something great and devoted himself fulltime to an MMA career.

Healy believes that cardio is his strength and that it allows him to pressure and break his opponents mentally.

PHOTO CREDIT: Esther Lin/STRIKEFORCE