Knockout artist and former middleweight world champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (17-5), ex- WWE wrestling champion-turned-undefeated Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) heavyweight star Bobby Lashley (5-0) and former lightweight world champion KJ Noons (8-2) will fight in the featured bouts when STRIKEFORCE hits Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE here on Wednesday, June 16.
The first-ever STRIKEFORCE event scheduled for mid-week will take place in the midst of the E3 Expo, the premier trade show for computer and video games. During E3 Expo 2010 at the L.A. Convention Center, EA SPORTS(tm) will exhibit its highly anticipated title, EA SPORTS MMA, in which STRIKEFORCE is featured as a premier league.
A special pre-sale ticket purchase opportunity for the event will take place for “STRIKEFORCE Insider” e-newsletter subscribers (http://strikeforce.com/insider.html) and Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE e-newsletter subscribers from 10 a.m. PT tomorrow/Thursday, April 29, until 10 p.m. PT on Friday, April 30. STRIKEFORCE Insiders will receive an e-newsletter with the pre-sale code.
Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. PT on Saturday, May 1, at STAPLES Center box office, all Ticketmaster locations (800) 745-3000, Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com <http://www.ticketmaster.com/> ) and STRIKEFORCE’S official website (www.strikeforce.com <http://www.strikeforce.com/> ). Tickets will also be sold at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE box office on days when events take place there.
Opponents for the three fighters will be announced soon.
Lawler and Lashley were overwhelmingly victorious in their last starts, both of which took place at the STRIKEFORCE event at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Jan. 30, 2010.
Lawler weathered an early onslaught from Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef before rallying dramatically to crumble Manhoef with a devastating right hand at 3:33 of the opening round and Lashley stopped Wes Sims with a barrage of punches in the first round (2:06).
Recognized as one of the hardest punchers in the sport, the 28-year-old Lawler, of Granite City, Ill., was discovered and schooled by MMA legend Pat Miletich. Lawler’s fight with Aaron Riley at UFC 37 on May 10, 2002 later became the first MMA bout in history to air on network TV (FOX Sports).
At 6-foot-3, 265 pounds, Lashley, 33, is a monstrous specimen of a man who has stopped all but one of his five opponents in the first round. A resident of Denver, Colo., he soared to stardom while competing on WWE’s Raw and Smackdown! series between 2005 and 2007.
Noons is a confident, prolific striker who has won four in a row and is the last fighter to defeat current STRIKEFORCE welterweight champion Nick Diaz. In a thrilling, bloody fight on Nov. 10, 2007, Noons won by first-round TKO when a cageside doctor stopped matters after the first round due to excessive cuts around Diaz’ eyes.
The 5-foot-11, 27-year-old Noons’ other victories during his winning streak came over Edson Berto (KO 3, knee) on July 27, 2007, Yves Edwards (TKO 1, punches and elbows) on June 14, 2008 and, in his first outing following a near-two-year respite to continue a boxing career, a decision over Andre Armado at DREAM 13 last March 22.
Doors at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE will open for the event at 5:15 p.m. PT. The first non-televised preliminary bout will begin at 6 p.m. and the first main card fight will begin at 8 p.m.
The event will be televised live on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).