Strikeforce held a media conference call on Tuesday ahead of its December 4 Henderson vs. Babalu show in St. Louis, MO. Taking part in the call were the promotion’s CEO Scott Coker, former Olympian Matt Lindland, Octagon refugee Paul Daley, and Strikeforce sluggers Scott Smith and Robbie Lawler.
Though there weren’t any shocking revelations that came out of the call, one thing that stood out was how terrible and predictable the questions were.
I guess most of these MMA "journalists" as we’re so often referred to as being, didn’t bother to read Ben’s list of questions you shouldn’t ask when interviewing an MMA fighter:
2-3 in his last five outings, Lindland will be looking to avoid racking up any more brain trauma when he meets the dangerous knockout artist, Lawler, who has also only won two of his last five contests.
Two statistics worth noting are that Lawler has finished each of the six opponents he defeated in his past ten fights by KO or TKO and that four of his six losses have come by submission. Considering that Lindland has submitted a hanful of tough jiu-jitsu black belts including Travis Lutter, Carlos Newton and Fabio Leopoldo, the fight could be more competitive than it seems at first glance.
Q: Why are we watching a Strikeforce event on Showtime, in the middle of the damn week, ten days before a bigger Strikeforce event on Showtime?
A: Why the hell not?
The stakes are relatively low, but the matchups are promising. In the main event, Renato Sobral and Robbie Lawler slug it out in a moneyweight battle for a potential title shot down the road. Welterweights Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos and Marius "The Whitemare" Zaromskis meet in a guaranteed basher. Plus, Army Staff Sergeant Tim Kennedy defends his country’s honor against South African veteran Trevor Prangley, and KJ Noons returns to the cage against Conor Heun. Round-by-round results await you after the jump. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and let’s hope these fights end early so I can go to bed.
(Let me get this straight…Catchweight bouts have title implications, now?)
Strikeforce held a media conference call today ahead of its mid-week June 16 show next Wednesday. On the call were Renato "Babalu" Sobral, his manager, Richard Welner, his opponent on the card, Robbie Lawler and Strikeforce president, Scott Coker.
According to Renato "Babalu" Sobral, his upcoming 195-pound catchweight bout with Robbie Lawler on June 16 isn’t a one-off appearance for the former Strikeforce champion at a lighter weight as the Brazilian submission specialist is planning a further drop to compete as a middleweight in the foreseeable future. Since his friend and training partner, Muhammed King Mo’ Lawal won the title Babalu previously held by defeating the man who took his belt, Gegard Mousasi in April, Sobral says that the fact that he would never fight anyone on his team necessitated the drop in weight.
It’s been nine months since Renato “Babalu” Sobral lost the Strikeforce light heavyweight title via short-and-sweet first round TKO to Gegard Mousasi last August. If you think that sounds like a lot of time to sit at home ruminating on the defeat, you’re right. Babalu is understandably pumped at the opportunity to step in for training partner Jason “Mayhem” Miller against Robbie Lawler next month and expresses some frustration to Ariel Helwani in the above video that it’s taken so long to get back in the cage.
Also interesting to note, Babalu seems to direct his annoyance at Showtime, not Strikeforce itself, so that should further stoke debate about who’s really wearing the pants in the fight company’s relationship with the premium cable channel. An excerpt from the interview after the jump.
To be fair, I think it’s really cool that your dad is Internet-savvy enough to record video blogs and post them to YouTube. I was a little worried after your mom divorced him, but it seems like he has a good outlet for expressing his opinions now, and he’s probably not as depressed as he would have been otherwise.
That being said, I have to disagree with your dad’s take on Nick Diaz. Nobody said that every professional athlete has to be a role model for our youth that are growing up, particularly the ones that depend on a "bad boy" persona to be marketable. Diaz may be a loud-mouth punk, but he’s also one of the best welterweights in the world, and some of us actually find his antics entertaining. He’s not for everybody, I know. There might be a generation gap that’s keeping your dad from appreciating Nick’s unique brand of don’t-give-a-fuck-ness. And the middle fingers are a bit much, no argument there. But does that mean he should be banned from the sport, like your dad is suggesting?
As for the part about Robbie Lawler beating Diaz down to his knees and forcing him to his apologize for his mouth, please tell your dad that they fought once back in 2004, and Lawler got wrecked, so he’ll have to find another hero for his Nick Diaz humbling-fantasy. Nothing personal, it just seems like your dad has a lot of anger he’s still working through, and it might be a good idea to look for some new hobbies for him. Anyway, send him my best, and we’ll see you guys at Brian’s wedding, okay?
Strippers, the government, our immediate family – we expect them to lie to us. We’ve gotten so used to it that we barely even notice it anymore. We just give them our money and try not to think about what it’s really being spent on. But Robbie Lawler? Him, we thought we could trust. When he told us that he wanted to stand and bang with Melvin Manhoef, when he laughed off the idea of taking down an opponent for the first time in recent memory, we believed him. It seemed like a bad idea, but at least it seemed like a sincere bad idea. Only after the fight do we learn that it was all a ruse. That lying son of a bitch.
As Lawler admits in this video, he didn’t really want any part of Manhoef’s vicious stand-up. The only reason the fight stayed on the feet at all was because Lawler couldn’t find an opportunity to get it to the mat. Instead he got his leg kicked to pieces and his head rattled a little bit before he managed to land that totally pre-planned, super technical right hand. It worked out for him in the end, but at what cost? With this trust now broken, his relationship with the MMA world may never be the same.