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Henderson vs. Sobral, Herschel Walker officially scheduled for December 4th Strikeforce event

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

  • Rece Rock says:

    I really hope they give Herschel an opponent that will press him a bit…if theres a repeat performance of whatever that was last time out then SF really needs to think about what it is there trying to accomplish promoting this guy when there’s much more talent out there. Let him be the main event on the challengers cards and he’ll help with the ratings and also legitimize his run in mma…At least make it look legit oppose to hand picking a punching bag to feed him.

  • Dufresne says:

    I have to think that Babalu has the upper hand here. I would have picked Hendo in this fight if he hadn’t been schooled in his own discipline in his last outing.

    If Babalu decides to try and stand with Hendo like he did with Chuck, he’ll probably be fishing his teeth out of his mouth guard. But if he’s smart he’ll use his striking to set up a shot and takedown, or possibly clinch + jumping guard. Hendo has solid submission defense, but I think Babalu is good enough to pull one off or at least to keep him defending long enough to collect another UD over a power puncher.

  • Guthookd says:

    Babalu will elect to stand with Hendo and he will loose via KO. That’s my $.02

    It’s time for Lashley vs. Walker.

  • Creature says:

    I do not see babalu submitting hendo considering he has some of the best sub defense in the sport, i do not see him out striking hendo because hendo has the best chin in the sport and some of the most brutal power in the weight class, and since babalu isnt known as a lay in prey fighter. i cant go with him winning this at all,

    Hendo via KO Bisping style :)

  • Rece Rock says:

    I got one better guthookd… Along with Lashely and Hershel also Sign Batista and canseco and have a 4 man one night tourney booyah!

  • Dufresne says:

    Hell, why not throw Sapp and Choi Hong-man into the mix for some added fun?


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