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HitOrGetHit 06-09-2012 01:09 PM

Ryan Couture vs. Joe Duarte

Strikeforce on Thursday added a new bout to its upcoming July 14 fight card, Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy, at the Rose Center in Portland, Ore.

Ryan Couture will square off with Joe Duarte in a battle between up-and-coming lightweight fighters.

Couture (4-1), the son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, is making his own way through the sport. He returned from his first setback, a loss to Matt Ricehouse last year, with back-to-back victories that have his stock riding high.

He most recently defeated Conor Heun, one of Strikeforce’s top lightweight prospects.

Duarte (10-2), however, will be Couture’s toughest test to date. Duarte is on a five-fight winning streak, including a unanimous decision over UFC veteran Jorge Gurgel.

The winner will increase his Strikeforce value immensely; although both are probably still two or three solid wins away from a showdown with current lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.

Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold puts his belt on the line against Tim Kennedy in the July 14 main event.

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