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Strikeforce Challengers 19 Preview

You are doing yourself a horrible disservice if you've yet to take in a Lorenz Larkin fight. Deprive yourself no longer and behold "The Monsoon" in the headliner of tonight's Strikeforce Challengers 19 event from the Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. The action begins at 11 p.m. ET on Showtime.

Drawing comparisons to feared striker Melvin Manhoef, light-heavyweight Lorenz Larkin has been nothing but an unhinged luncatic in his undefeated eleven-fight career. The rising phenom takes on Nick Rossborough in the main event, which is supported by Ryan Couture's next chapter against Wand Fight Team product Maka Watson.

Also appearing on the main card broadcast: Former UFC, K-1, Dream and Affliction welterweight Jason High returns to the cage against another former Dream (and WEC) participant in Todd Moore, heavyweights Lavar Johnson and Shawn Jordan square off, and welterweight scrapper Brian Melancon faces undefeated Brazilian newcomer Felipe Portela.

The Challengers 19 undercard is punctuated with game prospects as well:

Magno Almeida vs. James Terry
Bobby Green vs. Charon Spain
Joe Ray vs. Christopher Spang
Quinn Mulhern vs. Danny Davis

Gifs and analysis in the full entry.

SBN coverage of Strikeforce Challengers 19


From a fan's perspective, the prime-time of a hot prospect's career is his ascension to the top.

Lorenz Larkin is now thriving against mid-tier competition; his confidence soaring with each commanding performance.

Depending on how the future shakes out with the UFC and Strikeforce, this might be the last time we see Larkin dueling on a Challengers card.

The Kung Fu student brings flashy, traditional-style techniques that are efficiently adapted to MMA.


In these animations, Larkin is tearing through his Challengers 15 opponent Scott Lighty.

With a stout frame, exemplary agility and a wide arsenal of crushing and unorthodox strikes, Larkin is reminiscent of an old school Chute Boxe fighter who merely bombards his foe with relentless offense from the get-go.

In his steepest test to date, Larkin is fresh off a decision win over another under-rated prospect in Gian Villante, who fell to Chad Griggs on the Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva card.

Larkin takes a small step down in competition against wild card Nick "Leatherface" Rossborough (20-14, 13 subs). Rossborough has considerable experience in his seven-year career and is making his Strikeforce debut, but is probably being thrown to the proverbial wolves here.

Jason High (14-3) is quietly stacking together a nice string of wins since losing to Charlie Brenneman at UFC Fight Night 21. His six-hitch run started off with recently unveiled phenom Jordan Mein and includes a tight decision over Hayato Sakurai. High controlled Quinn Mulhern for a decision win in his last showing.

High takes on Todd Moore, a Third Column rep who was submitted by Shinya Aoki at Dream 6. Moore has defeated four of his five opponents since then with fellow card member Brian Melancon accounting for the sole loss. Jason High will be a tall order for most 170-pounders on the Strikeforce roster and should out-wrestle Moore to a decision.

Randy Couture's son, Ryan Couture (2-1), continues to plug away on Challengers cards. He'll look to rebound from his first professional loss to Matt Ricehouse against the Wand Fight Team's Maka Watson (4-1). Watson emerged under the Strikeforce banner with four first-round stoppages (3 subs, 1 TKO) but dropped his debut to Bill Cooper by submission.

Heavyweight slugger Lavar Johnson (15-4, 13 by TKO) brings his overwhelming wrath to the cage against Gladiators Academy fighter Shawn Jordan (11-3, 8 by TKO). Johnson's seven-fight win streak was just snapped by Shane Del Rosario with a first round submission. Jordan, who has competed in Bellator and lost his Strikeforce debut by decision to Devin Cole, will have his chin tested early and often.

Brian Melancon (5-2) continues to be rewarded for his frenetically paced aggression. A fan friendly fighter, Melancon has three wins by TKO and one via submission. His losses include Adam Schindler in Bellator and a questionable decision for Isaac Vallie-Flag last time out on the Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum prelims. Melancon draws a new face in Felipe Portela (7-0, 4 subs) who makes his promotional debut.