PRESS RELEASE / ST. LOUIS, MO (Sept. 27, 2010) – Mixed Martial Arts legend Dan Henderson will face former Strikeforce light heavyweight cham Renato “Babalu” Sobral when Strikeforce returns to St. Louis on Saturday, December 4th, at Scottrade Center, Live on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast). Football legend and unbeaten MMA fighter Herschel Walker will also return to the cage in a televised co-feature fight at the “Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu” event.
Additionally, talented St. Louis native Jesse Finney will face an opponent to be announced in a non-televised undercard fight. Additional bouts for the main card will be announced in the next several days.
A two-time U.S. Olympic wrestling team member (‘92, ‘96), Henderson is the only fighter in the sport’s history to simultaneously hold two different titles in two different weight classes (welterweight and heavyweight) for a major fight promotion (PRIDE Fighting Championships). A former UFC star, Henderson is considered one of the most decorated fighters in MMA history.
“It’s going to be a great fight. We’ve both progressed a lot since our first fight 10 years ago so it will be interesting to see who’s progressed more,” said Henderson, who defeated Babalu with a majority decision in 2000. “I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for Strikeforce and for the fans.”
Sobral is fresh off a unanimous decision victory over knockout artist Robbie Lawler on June 16th at “Strikeforce – Los Angeles”, his first fight since losing the Strikeforce title to Gegard Mousasi on December 19th, 2009. Prior to the defeat, Sobral had reeled off five consecutive victories.
“Dan and I have a lot of respect for each other and this will be a great rematch,” Babalu said. “I’m looking forward to fighting another top opponent at Strikeforce and will be going into seclusion for my training camp. When I’m not fighting, my kids come first. But, when I am in camp, training comes first because I am fighting for my kids.”
The 48-year-old Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner and two-time NFL Pro Bowl competitor, is undefeated at 1-0 in his latest athletic endeavor – MMA. A 1999 College Hall of Fame inductee who was also selected to Sports Illustrated’s NCAA All-Century Team that year, the 6-foot-1, 220 pound Walker already holds a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and boasts additional training in the combat disciplines of Muay Thai and Kenpo.
On January 30th, Walker made an impressive professional MMA debut, scoring a third round TKO (punches) over 26-year-old Greg Nagy at Sunrise, Fla.’s BankAtlantic Center. Walker has been training in San Jose, California with Team AKA, one of the most prominent MMA fight camps in the world that is also the home of former Strikeforce world champions Cung Le and Josh Thomson.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the cage again at Strikeforce and to be fighting on the same card that Henderson and Babalu will be fighting on,” Walker said. “They are two superstars of the sport so it’s a great feeling to be fighting alongside them.”
“This is a great sport. I want to bring more attention to it so I can show people that. It’s a human chess match. I’ve always loved martial arts and that’s why I’m doing this.”
Photo Credit: Bob Barton/ STRIKEFORCE