Strikeforce event big deal for area MMA fighters

By Dann Stupp

COLUMBUS — Saturday’s “Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson” event at Columbus’ Nationwide Arena features a championship doubleheader that could draw nearly one million Showtime viewers.

But the event, which marks the organization’s Ohio debut, has bigger stakes for nearly a dozen area fighters who compete on the untelevised preliminary card.

They include West Chester Twp. gym owner Jorge Gurgel and Cincinnati prospect Roger Bowling, both of whom previously have competed for Strikeforce. But there also are fighters such as fast-rising Brian Rogers.

Rogers (6-2) meets Ian Rammel (4-2), who is a late replacement for injured Miamisburg middleweight Tyler Combs (14-5). For the special-education teacher and former Walsh University linebacker, it’s undoubtedly Rogers’ most important fight to date.

“I was just looking for a step up and an opportunity,” Rogers said.

So when he heard Strikeforce was coming to town, the Kent native did what any competent self-promoter would do.

“I Googled their matchmaker, and I launched a Twitter assault,” he said with a laugh. “I started sending him fight videos and stories (about me), and I told fans to hit him up.”

 

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