PRESS RELEASE – Undefeated heavyweight and two-time United States Olympic Games wrestling team member Daniel Cormier will attempt to make it four wins in a row when he faces the hard-hitting Jason Riley in the undercard of a world championship doubleheader at STRIKEFORCE: Houston on Saturday, Aug. 21 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
The addition of the heavyweight bout to the undercard has prompted a new start time – 6:30 p.m. CT – for the STRIKEFORCE event, which was originally scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Doors to the Toyota Center open at 6 p.m.
A former NCAA Division I national championship runner up at Oklahoma State University, Cormier (3-0) has won all three of his professional MMA bouts via knockout. Cormier won his initial MMA and STRIKEFORCE start with a second-round TKO (punches) over Gary Frazier on Sept. 25 in Tulsa, Okla. He dominated John Devine in his second fight with a first-round knockout at a STRIKEFORCE: Challengers event on March 26 in Fresno, Calif., and followed that up with a first-round TKO of Lucas Browne on July 31.
A heavyweight prospect who trains at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., Cormier placed fourth in the 2004 Olympics in freestyle wrestling. He was named captain of the U.S. squad for the 2008 Olympics, but was unable to compete due to injury.
Riley (7-3), of Columbus, Ohio, has won four of his fights via knockout, but is looking to rebound from a KO loss to Devin Cole on March 27. Far more experienced professionally than Cormier, Devine has been in the cage with MMA veteran Tim Sylvia, who fought MMA legends Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Randy Couture and Andrei Arlovski.
Tickets are on sale at www.ToyotaCenterTix.com , by phone at 1-866-4-HOU-TIX, at select Houston area Randalls locations, and at www.strikeforce.com . Tickets will also be available beginning on Monday at the Toyota Center box office.
STRIKEFORCE World Light Heavyweight (205 pounds) Champion “King” Mo Lawal (7-0) will make the first defense of his belt against devastating striker Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante (9-2) in the main event on the live SHOWTIME telecast (10p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). The co-main event will feature Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (12-2) and American military hero Tim Kennedy (12-2) in a battle for the vacant STRIKEFORCE Middleweight (185 pounds) title.
In a featured, televised bout, undefeated heavyweight rising star and former WWE personality Bobby Lashley (5-0) will return to the cage against Chad Griggs (8-1). Also on the televised portion of the card, former world champ KJ Noons (9-2) will face Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt Jorge Gurgel (13-6) in a lightweight (155 pounds) featured bout.
The live SHOWTIME telecast of the event will begin at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).