Kaufman and Diaz to Defend Strikeforce Titles in October


The STRIKEFORCE men’s and women’s Welterweight World Champions Nick Diaz (170-pounds) and Sarah Kaufman (135-pounds) will return to the cage on Saturday, Oct. 9 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, LIVE on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

Diaz will face an opponent to be named in the coming week while Kaufman will defend her title against Dutch superstar Marloes Coenen.

Also on the explosive card, emerging star from the Strikeforce Challengers series Luke Rockhold will risk his six-fight win streak against MMA superstar and former Olympic wrestling silver medalist Matt “The Law” Lindland in a featured middleweight (185 pounds) contest.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, August 28 at 10:00 a.m. PT online at Ticketmaster.com, at the HP Pavilion ticket office, or by phone at (800) 745-3000.

A special presale opportunity for “STRIKEFORCE Insider” e-newsletter subscribers begins this Wednesday, August 25 at 10:00 a.m. PT. A special presale code will be sent out to all “STRIKEFORCE Insiders” on Tuesday, August 24. Sign up to become a “STRIKEFORCE Insider” at http://www.strikeforce.com/insider.html.

The 27-year-old Diaz (22-7), a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and native of Stockton, Calif., has won seven consecutive fights since his last loss in 2007. He is coming off a first round submission victory (armbar) over fellow superstar Hayato “Mach” Sakurai on May 29 at DREAM 14 in Japan. Prior to that, Diaz won the STRIKEFORCE title with a late, third-round TKO (punches) of Marius “The Whitemare” Žaromskis at STRIKEFORCE: Miami on Jan. 30.

The undefeated Kaufman (12-0), a former ballet dancer who hails from British Columbia, Canada, is fresh off the first defense of her title, an explosive body slam KO of Roxanne Modafferi at STRIKEFORCE Challengers in Everett, Wash., on July 23. The 24-year-old Kaufman, who has won nine of her fights by KO, will face Coenen (17-4), a submission specialist and the No. 1 contender to the STRIKEFORCE Women’s Welterweight belt.

The 29-year-old Coenen (17-4) will fight for the first time since a third-round TKO loss to Cris Cyborg for the STRIKEFORCE Women’s Middleweight (145 pounds) Championship at STRIKEFORCE: Miami. Coenen, a member of Holland’s Team Golden Glory and mixed martial artist since the age of 14, will be moving down in weight to challenge at 135 pounds. Kaufman and Coenen have both defeated Modafferi, with Coenen avenging a 2007 loss via first round armbar in her STRIKEFORCE debut on Nov. 7, 2009.

Rockhold (7-1), who could prove to be one of STRIKEFORCE’s next great middleweight superstars, has won six of his seven fights via submission. The 25-year-old member of Team AKA is coming off a first-round TKO (knees to body) of Paul Bradley on Feb. 26 at a STRIKEFORCE Challengers event in San Jose. The impressive win was the first KO victory of the Santa Cruz, Calif., native’s professional career. Prior to his latest conquest, Rockhold had won five straight fights by way of submission.

Lindland (22-7), who won the silver medal in Olympic Greco Roman Wrestling at the 2000 Olympic Games, scored a third-round TKO victory over “King” Kevin Casey on May 21 at STRIKEFORCE Challengers in his hometown of Portland, Ore. A former UFC star who has been competing professionally in MMA since 1997, Lindland, 40, is also a former All-American wrestler for University of Nebraska and the 1993 NCAA Big Eight conference champion. During his stellar career, Lindland has triumphed over a number of all-time greats including former UFC champions Pat Miletich and Carlos Newton.

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