Two fighters seeking a return to top-contender status in the deep STRIKEFORCE middleweight division will clash when â€œRuthless â€œRobbieâ€ Lawler (17-6, 1 NC) faces 2000 Olympic Games silver medalist Matt â€œThe Lawâ€ 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 â€œBabaluâ€ Sobral at light heavyweight (205 pounds) in the main event. In a battle of explosive hard-hitters, Paul â€œSemtexâ€™â€™ Daley (25-9-2) of Nottingham, England, meets power puncher Scott â€œHands Of Steelâ€™ 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 championâ€™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 â€œcould have done much more.â€
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.