October 17, 2007; San Jose, CA – Mixed martial arts star Falaniko “Niko” Vitale (24-7) and has been the first combatant selected to throw down in a four-man, single-elimination middleweight (185 lb. limit) tournament that will headline Strikeforce’s highly-anticipated return to San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion on Friday, November 16th. The winner of the first-ever sanctioned mixed martial arts tournament in the state of California, which will be completed over the course of the 10-bout fight card, will potentially be awarded the opportunity to challenge Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion, Frank Shamrock.
Tickets for the Strikeforce event, which will be presented by BodogFIGHT, are on sale at Ticketmaster (408-998-TIXS) and Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com) as well as at the HP Pavilion box office (408-287-7070). Ticket prices range from $30 to $300.
“We’re very grateful that the athletic commission has given us the opportunity to produce a tournament format fight for our fans,” said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker. “This will be the first step in our efforts to produce more tournaments which, historically, have been a great way to challenge world class athletes and to determine who the best competitor is on any given day.”
The 33-year-old Vitale, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, is coming a sensational first round victory over Ron “Killing” Fields, a matchup which unfolded during Strikeforce’s history making event at the world-famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills on Saturday, September 29th. From top position on the canvas, Vitale rained down on Fields with a series of blows before a stoppage was ordered at the 3:02 mark of the bout’s opening round.
Before entering the ranks of Strikeforce, Vitale made a number of notable conquests that have earned him prominent status in the world’s fastest growing sport. On June 6, 2003, he stopped superstar Matt Lindland in the first stanza of their meeting and, on February 7th of the following year, he earned a unanimous decision over former UFC middleweight champion, Dave Menne.
HP Pavilion doors will open for Strikeforce “Four Men Enter, One Man Survives” at 5:30 PM PST on Friday, November 16th. The first preliminary bout will begin at 6 PM and the first tournament bout will commence at 7:30 PM.
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