Sports

Bonney Lake’s Devela ready for MMA battle

Cory Devela will be at ShoWare Center in Kent. - Photo courtesy Team Victory
Cory Devela will be at ShoWare Center in Kent.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Team Victory

Bonney Lake’s Cory “The One” Devela will battle Luke Rockhold in a middleweight bout at the Strikeforce Challengers mixed martial arts (MMA) event at the ShoWare Center in Kent June 19.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Devela is one of the sport’s most promising young talents and a member of the Dennis “Superman” Hallman-led Team Victory that has pioneered a hybrid-fighting style dubbed “Cowboy Karate.”

Devela (9-2) notched his best victory to date before a home crowd at Tacoma Dome when he scored a technical knockout over former Ultimate Fighting Championship star Joe “Diesel” Riggs in the first round of their Strikeforce matchup Feb. 28, 2008.

After earning a unanimous decision over his next opponent, Devela suffered a setback when he was suddenly stopped by Terry Martin with an overhand punch in the third round of their Strikeforce matchup at the world-famous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills.

The matchup with Rockhold will be Devela’s first since his loss to Martin.

The 24-year-old Rockhold (4-1) is a California native and a member of Team AKA, one of the country’s most fearsome fight squads.

In his last effort, Rockhold forced Buck Meredith to tap out from a rear naked choke at the 4 minute, 7 second mark of the opening round.

Tickets for the Strikeforce Challengers event, priced from $32, are on sale at the ShoWare Center Box Office (253-856-6999 or 877-840-0457), online at ShoWareCenter.com or www.strikeforce.com.

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

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