Roger Gracie Slated For May 15 Strikeforce Event, Could Meet Kevin Randleman
Roger Gracie (2-0 MMA, 0-0 SF), a 2005 ADCC champion, finally is set to make his Strikeforce debut on May 15.
Sources close to the event told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman (17-14 MMA, 0-1 SF) is the leading candidate to face the grappling ace at the as-yet-unannounced show, which is likely to be hosted by the Scottrade Center in *. Louis, Mo., and air live on Showtime.
Randleman, however, is not confirmed as an opponent, and PRIDE and UFC veteran Rameau Thierry Sokodjou (7-6 MMA, 0-1 SF) is also under consideration should the original matchup fizzle.
Gracie, a second-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu under Carlos Gracie Jr., announced he had signed with Strikeforce this past December at "Strikeforce: Evolution," though his promotional debut was rumored and did not materialize on two fall 2009 cards.
Gracie, 32, is one of the most decorated grapplers to transition into MMA and made his fighting debut in December 2006 with a submission victory over Ron Waterman. He has appeared only once since then and posted a submission victory over Japanese veteran Yuki Kondo in May 2008 at World Victory Road's Sengoku Second Battle.
Randleman returned to active competition in May 2008 after a year-plus layoff due to injuries and personal problems. He fell short in his two most recent appearances: a unanimous-decision loss to Mike Whitehead this past June at "Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields" and a split0decision loss to Stanislav Nedkov at Sengoku 11th Battle this past November.
Sokodjou, meanwhile, is also on a two-fight slide with TKO losses to Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi (in a non-title fight) at at "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers" and Ikuhisa Minowa at "K-1 Dynamite!! 2009."
The May 15 Strikeforce event is expected to feature the return of Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem as he takes on the hard-hitting Brett Rogers. Another heavyweight match-up pitting Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski is also expected for the card.
Gracie?s debut is slated for the televised portion of the May 15 event.