An expected lightweight match up pitting Billy Evangelista against KJ Noons on the January 30 Strikeforce: Miami card has been scrapped due to an undisclosed injury to Evangelista. Noons will instead be an alternate for the card in case any other lightweights get hurt, or will return to action in either March or April, according to MMAFighting.com. Potentially replacing the match up on the fight card is a middleweight fight between Robbie Lawler and Melvin Manhoef, which Fiveouncesofpain.com reports is close to being signed.
The bout would have been Noons’ first fight with the promotion since signing a multi-fight deal in December. His last MMA fight was a June 2008 defense of his EliteXC 160-pound belt against Yves Edwards. Noons was stripped of that title after failing to reach a contract agreement with the now defunct promotion.Evangelista had last competed against Jorge Gurgel in November, earning a unanimous decision victory, and moving closer to a shot at the Strikeforce lightweight championship.
Lawler was last in action in a June catch weight loss to recently crowned Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields, who submitted Lawler with a first round guillotine. He was then expect to fight on the December 19, Strikeforce: Evolution card, but a late injury to his opponent, Trevor Prangley, forced him from the card. Manhoef’s last bout was at Dynamite!! 2009 where he defeated Kazuo Misaki with a first round TKO, rebounding from a July submission loss to Paulo Filho at Dream 10.
Strikeforce: Miami features Nick Diaz vs. Marius Zaromskis for Strikeforce’s welterweight title and Strikeforce 145-pound women’s champ Cris “Cyborg” Santos vs. Marloes Coenen, as well the Strikeforce debuts on Bobby Lashley and Herschel Walker.
Pictured: KJ Noons