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Muscle Sport Magazine

StrikeForce MMA: Dan Henderson To Rematch Babalu, Herschel Walker Returns, Dec. 4

Mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Dan Henderson will face former STRIKEFORCE World Champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral when STRIKEFORCE returns to St. Louis on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Scottrade Center, LIVE on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast)

Football legend and unbeaten MMA fighter Herschel Walker will return to the cage in a televised co-feature fight at the STRIKEFORCE: Henderson vs. Babalu event.

Also on the card, talented St. Louis native Jesse Finney will face an opponent to be announced in a non-televised undercard fight.  Additional bouts for the main card will be announced in the next several days.

A special ticket pre-sale for “STRIKEFORCE Insiders” begins this Tuesday at 10 a.m. CT and ends Thursday at 10 p.m.  Fans can sign up to become an “Insider” at STRIKEFORCE.com.  Anyone who purchases tickets during the pre-sale period will receive a special $5 off discount.

Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, Oct. 1, at 10 a.m. CT at the Scottrade Center ticket office, online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000.

A two-time U.S. Olympic wrestling team member (‘92, ‘96), Henderson is the only fighter in the sport’s history to simultaneously hold two different titles in two different weight classes (welterweight and heavyweight) for a major fight promotion (PRIDE Fighting Championships).  A former UFC star, Henderson is considered one of the most decorated fighters in MMA history.

“It’s going to be a great fight.  We’ve both progressed a lot since our first fight 10 years ago so it will be interesting to see who’s progressed more,” said Henderson, who defeated Babalu with a majority decision in 2000.  “I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for STRIKEFORCE and for the fans.”

Sobral is fresh off a unanimous decision victory over knockout artist Robbie Lawler on June 16 at STRIKEFORCE Los Angeles, his first fight since losing the STRIKEFORCE title to Gegard Mousasi on Dec. 19, 2009.  Prior to the defeat, Sobral had reeled off five consecutive victories.

“Dan and I have a lot of respect for each other and this will be a great rematch,” Babalu said.  “I’m looking forward to fighting another top opponent at Strikeforce and will be going into seclusion for my training camp.  When I’m not fighting, my kids come first.  But, when I am in camp, training comes first because I am fighting for my kids.”

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The 48-year-old Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner and two-time NFL Pro Bowl competitor, is undefeated at 1-0 in his latest athletic endeavor – MMA.  A 1999 College Hall of Fame inductee who was also selected to Sports Illustrated’s NCAA All-Century Team that year, the 6-foot-1, 220 pound Walker already holds a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and boasts additional training in the combat disciplines of Muay Thai and Kenpo.

On Jan. 30, Walker made an impressive professional MMA debut, scoring a third round TKO (punches) over 26-year-old Greg Nagy at Sunrise, Fla.’s BankAtlantic Center.  Walker has been training in San Jose, Calif. with Team AKA, one of the most prominent MMA fight camps in the world that is also the home of former STRIKEFORCE world champions Cung Le and Josh Thomson.

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the cage again at STRIKEFORCE and to be fighting on the same card that Dan Henderson and Babalu will be fighting on,” Walker said.  “They are two superstars of the sport so it’s a great feeling to be fighting alongside them.”

“This is a great sport.  I want to bring more attention to it so I can show people that. It’s a human chess match.  I’ve always loved martial arts and that’s why I’m doing this.”

About STRIKEFORCE

STRIKEFORCE (www.strikeforce.com) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history.  The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265.  Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.”  In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose.  In March 2009, STRIKEFORCE signed a multi-year agreement with SHOWTIME® to stage live events on the premium cable television network.  The promotion has since also produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network.

About Showtime Networks Inc.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™  XTRA.  SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD™, SHOWTIME 2 HD™, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD™, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND™ and FLIX ON DEMAND®.  SNI also manages Smithsonian Channel™, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution.  All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®

Photo by Bob Barton/ STRIKEFORCE

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