28-year-old Roger Gracie (2-0) will make his Strikeforce debut on May 15 against Kevin “The Monster” Randleman (17-14) according to a report published Monday on GracieMag.com. Gracie has only had two pro MMA fights. He defeated Ron Waterman with a first round armbar in 2006 in a Bodog fight, and he submitted Yuki Kondo with a first round rear-naked choke in 2008 at Sengoku 2.
As one might expect, Gracie’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu credentials are off the charts. He holds a second degree black belt under Carlos Gracie Jr., and in 2005, he won the Abu Dhabi World Championships by submitting all eight of his opponents. He has also won the Mundials a record eight times, including the 97kg and open weight divisions in 2009.
Kevin Randleman, now 38-years-old, has an enormous experience advantage over Gracie with 31 professional MMA fights under his belt. He’s a former two-time Division 1 NCAA wrestling champion, and the former UFC heavyweight champion. He has some big wins under his belt in MMA, but it is also common knowledge that he is past his prime.
Randleman is 3-7 in his last ten fights and has lost his last two. He lost a unanimous decision to Mike Whitehead in Strikeforce last June, and most recently lost a split decision to Stanislav Nedkov last November. With six of Randleman’s losses coming by way of submission he is going to have to be well-prepared when he steps in the cage on May 15.