Kevin “The Monster” Randleman has signed a contract to fight for the San Jose based professional mixed martial arts promotion, STRIKEFORCE (for real this time). The announcement that Randleman had been added to the STRIKEFORCE roster was made Saturday night, April 11th, at the “Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz” post-fight press conference in which PRO MMA (promma.info) was in attendance.
STRIKEFORCE CEO, Scott Coker, announced plans to put Randleman in the cage to fight “right away” which most likely means “The Monster” would appear on STRIKEFORCE’S June 6th card in St. Louis, although that is only speculation at this point and no opponents were named.
Randleman who traditionally fights at 205 pounds could potentially face STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight fighters such as Renato “Babalu” Sobral or Bobby Southworth. Randleman defeated Sobral at UFC 35 via unanimous decision in 2002.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz was present throughout this past weekend’s “Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz” event and there is strong evidence to suggest he could soon sign with the promotion. If that happens, a Kevin Randleman vs. Tito Ortiz fight would be an extremely marketable proposition.
The 37-year-old Randleman’s last fight took place at SENGOKU 2 in Japan in May 2008 where he won a unanimous three-round decision over Ryo Kawamura. His most recent bout on American soil was October 2006 at PRIDE 32 in Las Vegas where he lost via first round knee bar submission to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Randleman’s pre-fight drug screen for his fight against “Shogun” showed he had submitted a fake urine sample to the Nevada State Athletic Commission and as a result his license to fight was revoked for a year. STRIKEFORCE CEO, Scott Coker addressed the issue at the press conference, said he spoke to the NSAC, and Randleman was clear to fight.
Randleman holds a career record of 17-12. He started fighting professionally in 1996 in Brazilian Vale Tudo matches. He is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and PRIDE veteran. He has been in there with the best of the best and defeated many of the top fighters of his day.
MMA fans and longtime Randleman supporters can take pride in knowing one of the real legends of the sport has found a home with STRIKEFORCE and after all these years he is still able to compete with the elite.
By: Jack Bratcher