strikeforce challengersNEW YORK (May 5, 2009) — Strikeforce mixed martial arts (MMA) will return to Washington State in style when it visits the all-new ShoWare Center in Kent with a Strikeforce Challengers series event on Friday, June 19. Already enlisted for the card are lightweight fan-favorite Jorge Gurgel (12-5), wrestling ace Dennis “Superman” Hallman (40-12-2), and Hallman protégé Cory “The One” Devela (9-2).

Tickets for the event, priced from $32, go on sale at 10 a.m. PT this Friday, May 8 at the ShoWare Center Box Office (253-856-6999 or 877-840-0457), online at, and at

The live SHOWTIME® telecast of the event will begin at 11 p.m. ET/PT (tape delayed on the west coast) and will include up to five bouts.

Making his Strikeforce debut, the 32-year-old Gurgel, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt better known for his explosive, go-for-broke punching style, starred in the second season of Spike TV’s smash hit reality series, The Ultimate Fighter. Gurgel’s start will be his first since he dropped a three-round unanimous judges’ decision to Aaron Riley at UFC 91 on November 15, 2008.

Hallman, a former UFC championship challenger is, perhaps, best remembered for his two, first-round conquests of MMA legend Matt Hughes.

After a year and a half hiatus, the 33-year-old Hallman rekindled his rich, 12-year history in the sport with a first round submission of Danny Ruiz on March 21, 2009. In his sole Strikeforce appearance to date, Hallman made similar, quick work of Jeremiah Metcalf, forcing Metcalf to tap out to a heelhook at 1:39 of the first round of their meeting at San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion on November 16, 2007.

Hallman’s protégé, the 24-year-old Devela is looking to return to the win column after being stopped by Terry Martin at Strikeforce’s second event at the world-famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California on September 20, 2008. The loss brought the middleweight’s seven-fight win streak to an end.

Devela pulled off a stunning upset of Joe “Diesel” Riggs at the first-ever Strikeforce event in Washington State on February 23, 2008. With a single slam in the first round of battle, Devela rendered Riggs unable to continue their matchup at Tacoma Dome.

Strikeforce’s affair at the Tacoma Dome marked the largest live gate in the history of any boxing, MMA, or kickboxing event in Washington State.

ShoWare Center doors will open for the Strikeforce Challengers event at 5:30 p.m. PT on June 19 and the first preliminary bout will begin at 6 p.m. PT.