With a nod to ice hockey, there are no two professional sports as physically and mentally demanding as Mixed Martial Arts and football. Built on a background of discipline, perfection on the playing-field, and the ability to overcome injury in hopes of procuring a victory, there are a number of similarities between the two athletic ventures beyond simply their violent nature.
Occasionally the two realms collide, as was the case earlier this week when Strikeforce middleweight “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler visited the NFL’s resurgent St. Louis Rams training facility earlier this week and spoke casually with players, including wide receiver Danny Amendola and offensive lineman Adam Goldberg. Whether the hard-hitting, freshly bearded 185-pounder asked for, or gave, tips on how to best render your opponent seeing stars will be left up to speculation as no official comments were recorded. However, one thing is undoubtedly certain – a number of the Rams’ defensive players no doubt felt some sort of slight jealousy at Lawler’s ability to knock people out and not worry about a fine from the league’s commissioner.
The 17-6 former champion, who faces high-level wrestler Matt Lindland later tonight at “Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II”, is 6-2 in his last eight fights with a submission loss to previous promotional title-holder Jake Shields and a close decision defeat to light heavyweight Renato Sobral this past June. All six of the victories came by way of knockout/TKO, as have fourteen of his seventeen total career wins.
In addition to his match-up with Lindland, the St. Louis event features a contendership-determining clash between the headlining light heavyweights (Dan Henderson/Sobral), as well as welterweights Paul Daley and Scott Smith undoubtedly going toe-to-toe until one of the two falls. 14-2 heavyweight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva will also see action on the show when he faces Mike Kyle, the only man to have legitimately beaten newly crowned Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.
“Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II” will be broadcast on Showtime starting at 10:00 PM ET/PT (Tape Delayed in the West)
PHOTO CREDIT – ESTHER LIN / STRIKEFORCE