Two fighters seeking a return to top-contender status in the deep STRIKEFORCE middleweight division will clash when “Ruthless “Robbie” Lawler (17-6, 1 NC) faces 2000 Olympic Games silver medalist Matt “The Law” Lindland (22-7) in a 185-pound match Saturday, Dec. 4, at Scottrade Center in St. Louis live on SHOWTIMEÂ® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
Mixed martial arts superstar Dan Henderson will take on former STRIKEFORCE world champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral at light heavyweight (205 pounds) in the main event. In a battle of explosive hard-hitters, Paul “Semtex’’ Daley (25-9-2) of Nottingham, England, meets power puncher Scott “Hands Of Steel’ Smith (17-7, 1 NC) of Elk Grove, Calif., in a featured welterweight (170 pounds) clash.
In other bouts, football legend and unbeaten MMA fighter, the remarkable Herschel Walker (1-0), will be opposed by an opponent to be determined in a televised heavyweight bout and popular St. Louis native, welterweight Jesse Finney, will take on a foe to be announced in the top non-televised undercard scrap.
Southpaw Lawler, who hails from the St. Louis area, in nearby Granite City, Ill., is returning to middleweight after losing a close decision to Sobral in a catch weight fight at 195 pounds in his last start on June 16 in Los Angeles. The defeat, by the scores of 29-28 three times, was only the second in nine outings for Lawler since September 2006.
The athletic, well-conditioned 5-foot-11, 28-year-old Lawler is known for his aggressiveness. The former two-time world champion’s 14 of 17 victories have come via knockout or TKO, including a dramatic, come-from-behind 3:33, first-round KO over highly regarded Melvin Manhoef on Jan. 30, 2010.
But Lawler may have outsmarted himself against Babalu by feigning an injury in a ploy to get the Brazilian to exchange. The strategy backfired. It may not have cost him the decision, but Lawler conceded afterward that he “could have done much more.”
Lindland is coming off an impressive third-round TKO (punches) over Kevin Casey in the headlining bout of a STRIKEFORCE Challengers event last May 21, in Portland, Ore. An All-American wrestler at the University of Nebraska and the 1993 NCAA Big Eight conference champion, Lindland captured the silver medal in Greco Roman wrestling for the United States.
During a stellar 13-year career, Lindland has fought and defeated the best. He has been in with the famed Fedor Emelianenko, and has triumphed over a number of all-time greats, among them former UFC champions Pat Miletich and Carlos Newton.
Tickets for the event are on sale at Scottrade Center, online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone (800) 745-3000.
Doors at Scottrade Center will open for the event at 6 p.m. CT. The first preliminary bout will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the first SHOWTIME televised main card fight will begin at 9 p.m.