With a week before Strikeforce's event in Hoffman Estates, the promotion has apparently finalized its preliminary card.
Mike Afromowitz, Strikeforce's director of communications, confirmed to The Times on Friday six as-yet-unannounced preliminary card fights for Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers on Nov. 7 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.
According to Afromowitz, all but one of the six preliminary fights has been approved by the Illinois Athletic Commission, though they have not yet been officially announced by Strikeforce. The prelim fights are Chicago and Northwest Indiana heavy, confirming what Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said earlier this month -- that the organization was looking at several Chicagoland MMA gyms for local talent for the show, its first in the Chicago area.
The four-fight main card for the event will be shown live on CBS in Strikeforce's prime-time debut on network television. Previous Strikeforce cards have been shown on the premium cable channel Showtime and the promotion also has an overnight weekend highlights show on NBC in select markets.
The main card features the highly anticipated Strikeforce debut of Fedor Emelianenko, considered by most to be the top heavyweight in the world and by many to be the world's best pound-for-pound fighter. He'll take on unbeaten Brett Rogers in a fight to determine the top contender for the Strikeforce heavyweight belt currently held by Allistair Overeem, who won it two years ago but has yet to defend it in the organization.
The Times was first to report earlier this month that Portage's John Kolosci, who is 4-0 in 2009 and competed on Season 6 of the UFC's "The Ultimate Fighter," would be included on the preliminary card for a welterweight bout against Indianapolis' Shamar Bailey.
Also of note for Northwest Indiana mixed martial arts fans is a welterweight fight between Deray Davis, of Schererville's Team Corral, and International Fight League veteran Mark Miller, who trains at Gilbert Grappling in Tinley Park.
Jeff Curran, of north suburban Island Lake, Ill., is slated to take Indianapolis-based fighter Dustin Neace -- the one bout still not yet officially licensed by the state commission. Curran is riding a four-fight losing skid, most recently competing in the WEC. The four losses came to in a featherweight title fight to Urijah Faber, to current featherweight champ Mike Brown, and to WEC bantamweight contenders Joseph Benavidez and Takeya Mizugaki.
Also on the preliminary card and confirmed by Afromowitz are previously rumored fights between Chicago-based Christian Uflacker and Brazilian Jonatas Novaes, fighting out of Chicago, in a lightweight bout; a women's 145-pound bout between Marloes Coenen and Roxanne Modaffer; and former Purdue wrestling standout Nate Moore, who now fights with the famed American Kickboxing Academy team in San Jose, Calif., will take on Chicago-based Louis Taylor, who has fought locally on a C3 and Total Fight Challenge cards in Hammond as well as for Adrenaline MMA, in a middleweight bout.
The co-main event on the televised card will be a middleweight title fight between Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Jake Shields and Jason "Mayhem" Miller, best known outside of MMA circles for his hit MTV reality show "Bully Beatdown." The two will fight for a belt recently vacated by Cung Le, who rescinded it to pursue a movie career.
Also on the televised main card will be Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi, who will take on Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in a non-title fight; and a heavyweight showdown between EliteXC veteran Antonio Silva and former UFC and Pride standout Fabricio Werdum.
With the six preliminary card fights, the complete event looks like this:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers
Jason "Mayhem" Miller vs. Jake Shields (for vacant Strikeforce middleweight title)
Light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (non-title match)
Antonio Silva vs. Fabricio Werdum
Marloes Coenen vs. Roxanne Modafferi
Mark Miller vs. Deray Davis
Jeff Curran vs. Dustin Neace*
John Kolosci vs. Shamar Bailey
Louis Taylor vs. Nate Moore
Jonatas Novaes vs. Christian Uflacker
* Not yet officially approved by Illinois State Athletic Commission