(And for my next trick, I will enter a state of comatose using only a roided man’s fists and sheer determination.)
On the heels of a devastating one-punch knockout at the hands of Muhammed Lawal in September, it looks like Roger Gracie will make his moderately-anticipated middleweight debut at an upcoming Strikeforce event in July. Rejoice. Across the cage from the Jiu-Jitsu phenom will be none other than UFC veteran and member of the undead army, Keith “The Dean of Mean”
Johnson Jardine. Jardine has had a rough run of things as of late, dropping six of his last nine including a recent ill-fated title bid against Luke Rockhold in January.
But a matchup with Gracie is one that Jardine stands a better chance of winning than any fight in recent memory, believe it or not. Jardine has never been submitted in professional competition, and Gracie’s complete lack of the kind of striking game that has felled Jardine in the past might just make for a victory over a big name that has eluded “The Dean” since his UFC 89 split-decision win over Brandon Vera. In fact, the closest Jardine has even come to scoring an upset victory in recent years was his Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley performance that saw him fight to a majority draw with the heavily favored Gegard Mousasi.
Though it was previously reported that Gracie was on his way up to the UFC, those rumors were quickly squashed by UFC President Dana White, who stated, “[expletive] that [expletive] you [expletive] [expletive] Samuel L. Jackson [expletive] smartphone [expletive] hotspacho [expletive].” Something like that. *
In other fight booking news…
Coming off a brutal knockout loss of his own to Dan Henderson in December of 2010, Renato “Babalu” Sobral will return to the ring for the first time in nearly two years at OneFC’s “Destiny of Warriors” event, which goes down at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 23rd. After signing with OneFC in December of 2011, Sobral was expected to face Melvin Manhoef and his explosive shins at OneFC 3, but pulled out of the bout to participate as Wanderlei Silva’s wrestling coach on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Sobral is currently 36-9 in MMA competition, most recently sandwiching a win over Robbie Lawler between a pair of KO losses to Gegard Mousasi and Henderson, the former of which cost him the Strikeforce light heavyweight title.
Sobral will be facing a game opponent in Tatsuya Mizuno, who holds notable victories over Melvin Manhoef and Trevor Prangley and has only gone to the judges scorecards once in his professional career. Mizuno is coming off an arm-triangle submission victory over Ilima Maiava at the mediocre-but-improved ProElite 3 event back in January.
Who you got for these, Potato Nation?
*OK, it went nothing like that. There was no interview. We apologize for deceiving you.