(Pic props – JudoJackWilliams.)

Strikeforce announced today that 2004 U.S. Olympic judoka and American Top Team trainer Rhadi Ferguson will make his Strikeforce debut at Challengers 13 in Nashville, Tenn. on Jan. 7. Ferguson, who has also competed at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championships and the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championships, will face Quebecois fighter Ion Cherdivara.

Strikeforce Challengers 13 is headlined by a welterweight contender bout between Tyron Woodley (#25) and Tarec Saffiedine (#35) and features main-card bouts between heavyweight prospect and former U.S. Olympic team wrestler Daniel Cormier (#30) and Devin Cole (#86) as well as fast-rising Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Ovince St. Preaux (#33) vs. Ron Humphrey (#83)


(Water? Check. Protein powder? Check. Hemp protein? Check. Whole mackerel? Check.)

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(Josh Thomson is happy to work on New Year’s Eve.)

On Weds., Strikeforce announced that their former Lightweight Champion, Josh Thomson (#11 Lightweight) will travel to Japan to face Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri (#18) at DREAM Dynamite!! 2010 on New Year’s Eve.

The lightweights last lost to current Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez and current DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki, respectively.

“I’ve wanted this fight forever,’’ Thomson is quoted as saying in the press release. “He’s somebody that excites me.’’

Already confirmed for DREAM’s Dec. 31 show are a Featherweight Championship bout between Bibiano Fernandes (#3) and Hiroyuki Takaya (#8) and a Welterweight Championship bout between Marius Zaromskis and Kazushi Sakuraba. View the still-developing fight card here.


(Props to KahL-One and MMAScraps.)

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(Video courtesy of ShoSports)

Strikeforce wrapped up a disappointing year with a barnburner of a card on Dec. 4 in St. Louis. Four of the five main card bouts ended with first or second round stoppages – (full results can be found here) – and the winners may well have positioned themselves as #1 contenders for the promotions Welterweight, Middleweight, and Light Heavyweight titles. If you missed the event or want to watch it again in its entirety, SHO2 will air a replay of Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu at 10 P.M. EST/PST on Tues., Dec. 7.


(Tyron Woodley is Strikeforce’s top prospect at 170.)

Over the weekend, Strikeforce announced the main card for Strikeforce Challengers 13, which will take place at Nashville, Tenn.’s Municipal Auditorium on Jan. 7.

In the main event, welterweight prospects Tyron Woodley (#24) and Tarec Saffiedine (#37) will vie for the chance to move into title contention. Former Mizzou wrestler Woodley is undefeated while DREAM veteran Saffiedine is 3-0 in 2010, including two wins in the Strikeforce cage.

Also on the main card, Olympic-wrestler-turned-AKA-heavyweight Daniel Cormier (#30) will face Devin Cole. After turning pro in 2009, Cormier has won all three of his Strikeforce bouts and claimed King of the Cage and XMMA heavyweight titles.

The Strikeforce Challengers main card is rounded out by a middleweight bout between Yancy Medeiros and UFC veteran John Salter (#94), a women’s bout between Canadian muay thai specialist Julia Budd and Brazilian Amanda Nunes, and a middleweight match featuring AKA’s Nate Moore vs. Nate Coy. Strikeforce Challengers undercards are typically filled with local amateur fighters. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Fri., Dec. 10.

Strikeforce Challengers 13 will air on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT., Jan. 7, 2011.


(Video courtesy of ShoSports.)

In this Showtime video, Mauro Ranallo previews STRIKEFORCE: Henderson vs. Babalu. The event pits #8 Light Heavyweight Dan Henderson versus #5 205er Renato Sobral. In other main card action, #14 welterweight Paul Daley takes on slugger Scott Smith, top-ten heavyweight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva faces Mke Kyle, and UFC vets Robbie Lawler and Matt Lindland tangle at 185 pounds. The event will air on SHOWTIME, Sat., Dec. 4 at 10 p.m. EST/PST.


The UFC’s next blockbuster event is more than a week away but this weekend is filled to the gills with meaningful fight cards. In fact, Dec. 4 was shaping up to be the biggest day ever for UK MMA before a snowstorm hit Newcastle, so let’s take a quick look at what’s going down over the next three days.

Thurs., Dec. 2


Two noteworthy events will be held tonight on opposite coasts as Tachi Palace Fights 7 pops off in Lemoore, Calif. The card is stacked with UFC vets James Irvin, John Alessio, Jay Silva, Seth Baczynski, and Tim McKenzie as well as Strikeforce and Dream vet Darren Uyenoyama. Allessio’s scrap with Phil Collins is for the vacant TPF Welterweight Championship and Cole Miller’s kid brother Micah will square off with Isaac De Jesus for the TPF Featherweight Championship. But the star of the show is Shooto South America Flyweight Champion Jussier da Silva – “Formiga” is widely regarded as the top 125er on the planet, and tonight will be his U.S. debut. He signed a four-fight deal with TPF, but if Dana White keeps his word about adding flyweights to the UFC, da Silva could be the next small guy to graduate from Lemoore to Zuffa’s cages. You can watch the fights live on MMAJunkie starting at 8:30 p.m. EST.

Across the country in Rhode Island, UFC and Affliction vet Dan Lauzon re-emerges on the regional circuit to take on Wai Kru fighter Damien Trites at “Snow Brawl.” Lauzon needs an impressive win on the small stage if he wants to get back to the big leagues.

Fri., Dec. 3

Tampa Bay’s XFC returns to the hi-def airwaves on Dec. 3 as Jarrod “Wild” Card defends his XFC Featherweight Championship belt against Luis Palomino. American Top Team’s Mario Rinaldi will face Christopher “Beast Boy” Barnett in a feature fight and Kim Couture-killer Marianna Kheyfets will be back in action. You can watch the main card of XFC XIII live on HDNet this Fri., Dec. 3 at 9 p.m. EST.

On the other side of the state, Art of Fighting will host AOF 10: Blackout in Jacksonville, Fla., where UFC veteran Rob Emerson will fight Eric “It’s A Wrap” Up the coast in New Jersey, Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat will host its 33rd event featuring a slew of prospects from 125 on up.

Sat., Dec. 4


Stateside, the biggest fights on Saturday night will go down in St. Louis, Mo., where Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu pits #8-ranked Light Heavyweight Dan Henderson against #5-ranked Light Heavyweight Renato Sobral. Top-ten heavyweight Antonio Silva will face late replacement Mike Kyle while Scott Smith and #14-ranked welterweight Paul Daley will likely engage in an free-swinging dustup. A middleweight scrap between Robbie Lawler (#24) and Matt Lindland (#32) and a vet-versus-prospect bout between Benji Radach vs. Ovince St. Preux round out the main card.


In Las Vegas, the UFC wraps up the season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter at the Palms. Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson vie for the TUF title and Stephan Bonnar faces Igor Pokrajac in the main event. In other main card action, #9-ranked middleweight Demian Maia looks to start climbing back to contention against Kendall Grove and hot prospect Rick Story (#20 welterweight) faces Johny Hendricks (#21). The UFC also launches its new featherweight division with several bouts contested at 145, headlined by Leonard Garcia and TUF 12 contested Nam Phan.

Two other WEC vets will be in action on Sat. but not in Las Vegas. Jeff Curran will headline XFO 37 in Lakemoor, Ill. The UFC, Pride, WEC, IFL, and Bellator vet faces David Love in the main event. Fellow Bellator vet Felice Herrig will also appear on the main card. South of the equator, #20 middleweight Paulo Filho co-headlines Bitetti Combat 8 against Yuki Sasaki. Glover Teixeira headlines the card against Hans Stringer.

Across the pond, the UK was poised for a huge night until inclement weather forced the cancellation of BAMMA 5. But that still left cards in Liverpool, where Olympian MMA Championships will crown heavyweight and bantamweight champions, and London, where Cage Warriors, Cage Rage, and UFC vet Ross Pointon returns from a two-and-a-half-year hiatus at UCMMA: Kings of the Cage. The promotion will also crown featherweight and bantamweight champions on Sat. as well as staging its first women’s MMA bout.

Check back in with tomorrow for results and rankings analysis of Tachi Palace Fights 7, check in on Sunday for results and rankings analysis coming out of Strikeforce and The Ultimate Fighter 12 finale, and check in Monday morning for rankings analysis from the rest of the regional action this weekend.



Standout striker and #14-ranked welterweight Paul “Semtex” Daley will appear on this week’s edition of “MMA Live” to discuss Sat., Dec. 4’s STRIKEFORCE: Henderson vs. Babalu card at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. The Brit is scheduled to face fellow UFC veteran Scott Smith, with the winner likely getting a date with current STRIKEFORCE Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz.

Daley was released by the UFC earlier this year after he punched Josh Koscheck following the bell at UFC 113. This summer he notched a pair of wins over Daniel Acacio and natural lightweight Jorge Masvidal in regional shows. STRIKEFORCE: Henderson vs. Babalu marks Daley’s return to top-level competition. “MMA Live” airs on ESPN2 at 1 a.m. EST, Fri., Dec. 3. / 10 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 2.

STRIKEFORCE: Henderson vs. Babalu event will air live on SHOWTIME from Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., at 10 p.m. EST/PST and features a main event bout between UFC vets Dan Henderson and Renato “Babalu” Sobral, a heavyweight bout between Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and late-replacement Mike Kyle, a middleweight contest between Robbie Lawler and Matt Lindland, and a journeyman versus prospect bout pitting Benji Radach against Ovince St. Preux.


On Saturday, December 4, #8-ranked Light Heavyweight Dan Henderson and #5-ranked Light Heavyweight Babalu Sobral will meet for the second time. Their first meeting took place in the finals of the 32-man Rings “King of Kings” tournament that took place between Oct. 1999 and Feb. 2000. On Feb. 26, 2000, Henderson defeated Gilbert Yvel and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by two and three-round decision, respectively, while Sobral submitted and decisioned Mikhail Illoukhine and Kiyoshi Tamura, respectively, to reach the finals. The exhausted fighters battled to decision and Henderson was named the winner. Henderson went on to capture PRIDE titles in two weight classes and fight for the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight titles in the UFC, losing both matches. Most recently, Henderson lost his bid to take Jake Shields’ Strikeforce Middleweight Championship belt. Babalu went on to record dozens of wins in the UFC, Affliction, and now Strikeforce. Watch as both fighters look back on their first match, including classic footage from the event. Watch them reunite on SHOWTIME, Sat., Dec. 4 at 10 p.m. EST/PST.