The Venezuelan moved to Japan as a teenager, attending high school and college in the country before turning his attention to MMA. After a rough early stretch of his career, where he went just 2-2-1 with one no contest, he turned things around over the last two years.
After taking the title of Lightweight King of Pancrase in 2009, he won five straight fights under the World Victory Road banner. He's won six straight fights overall, a stretch that included five straight by knockout or TKO before a decision win over Won Sik Park in December.
Blanco is looking to make a permanent move to the United States, and along with this signing Blanco's management is looking to find a new training home for him with a camp here before he makes his U.S. debut in Strikeforce.
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Penick's Analysis: This is a good signing for Strikeforce and will be a big opportunity for Blanco to see where he's at in the division against what is generally seen as the higher level of competition under the Zuffa banner at lightweight. After six straight wins, he'll likely be matched up against one of Strikeforce's top guys, and could even be thrown into a fight with Gilbert Melendez if they don't get a crossover fight with the UFC together for the Strikeforce Champ first.