The 12th installment of the Strikeforce Challengers prospects series is set for Nov. 19, Strikeforce spokesman Mike Afromowitz today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The event features fast-rising lightweight Justin Wilcox (9-3 MMA, 3-1 SF) against Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro (20-4 MMA, 0-1 SF) and the return of lightweight Ryan Couture (1-0 MMA, 1-0 SF).
The Showtime-televised event takes place at the Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson, Miss.
Wilcox looks for his fourth consecutive win in Strikeforce and his fifth straight win overall. Since a loss to Mitsuhiro Ishida in his 2008 promotional debut, the American Kickboxing Academy fighter has defeated David Douglas, Daisuke Nakamura and Shamar Bailey under the Strikeforce banner.
He could take a big step toward title contention with a win over Ribeiro, a Shooto and DREAM vet who signed with Strikeforce back in 2009. After a near-yearlong wait, he made his promotional debut in May at “Strikeforce St. Louis: Heavy Artillery” and dropped a close split decision to undefeated Lyle Beerbohm.
Although he began his career with a stellar 19-1 mark, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has dropped three of his past four fights (with additional losses to notables Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki).
Couture, the son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, signed with Strikeforce earlier this year and made his promotional debut with a slick first-round submission of Lucas Stark at Strikeforce Challengers 10.