Within the last week, published reports have indicated that former EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler was expected to be added to Strikeforce’s upcoming April 11 event that will air on Showtime.
Sources have revealed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that while Lawler’s involvement with the April event was discussed, Strikeforce officials have decided to have Lawler headline its May event tentatively scheduled for Seattle against an unnamed opponent.
According to a source, Strikeforce decided not to move forward with adding Lawler to its April event because it wants both Lawler and Frank Shamrock to headline separate cards in an attempt to build to a possible matchup between the two fighters.
Five Ounces of Pain has also learned in recent days that while light heavyweight sensation Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante has committed to competing on the May show, a match against Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral has not been signed. While Feijao’s camp is believed to have consented to the fight, an agreement from Sobral’s side has not.
Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson and Gina Carano are two other fighters that had been rumored for the May event. However, their involvement with the show remains doubtful at this time. While Strikeforce acquired the contracts of both fighters during limited asset acquistion of ProElite, new deals must be secured in order to bring Ferguson and Carano into the fold. Thus far, negotiations with the management of each fighter has not produced a new deal that would clear the way for them to compete in May.
Several undercard fights have been finalized for the May event with the San Jose-based promotion utilizing several up-and-coming fighters it acquired from ProElite. One of those fighters, Hawaiian lightweight Mike Aina, 11-6-1, is set to face undefeated 9-0 Strikeforce lightweight prospect Billy Evangelista. Aina might be best known for his close split decision loss to Nick Diaz during EliteXC’s “Uprising” event in September of 2007.
The undercard will also see two former ProElite-contracted fighters go head-to-head in a classic wrestler vs. striker matchup with Lyle Beerbohm, 9-0, set to take on Torrance Taylor, 7-5. Despite his less than stellar record, the Ohio-based Taylor is one of the most dynamic strikers in all of MMA. With wins over former UFC veterans Jason Dent, Junior Assuncao, and Luke Caudillo, Taylor will prove to be a strong test for Beerbohm.
A draft tryout finalist for the now-defunct IFL, Taylor had been slated to compete on EliteXC’s October ShoXC event in Indiana. However, Taylor, just 20 at the time, was scratched from the card as regulations at the reservation casino where the event was held dictated he was too young to enter the grounds of the venue.
Also slated for the Seattle show is a featherweight fight between ShoXC veterans Bao Quach and J.C. Pennington. Quach, 15-9-1, most recently competed in January during Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event. The Team Oyama fighter saw his nine fight winning streak end at the hands of L.C. Davis due to a unanimous decision loss.
Quach had been in line for a shot at former EliteXC bantamweight champion Wilson Reis before ProElite suspended operations and sold off its key assets to Strikeforce. In recent weeks, Five Ounces of Pain has confirmed that Reis’ ProElite contract was one of over 50 contracts purchased by Strikeforce. The undefeated Sao Paulo native now has exclusive contracts with both Strikeforce and the Bellator Fighting Championships.
Despite the fact that Strikeforce holds the original exclusive on Reis, he is still expected to compete in Bellator’s upcoming featherweight Grand Prix that will commence in April and will be televised on ESPN Deportes. However, Strikeforce officials are believed to be very interested in having Reis compete under its promotional banner after Reis has finished Bellator’s inaugural 12-week season.
Another Bellator fighter that Strikeforce acquired through its deal with ProElite is Eddie Alvarez. Unlike Reis, Alvarez was not exclusive to ProElite, as his primary promotional rights are owned by Monte Cox’s Adrenaline MMA promotion. Alvarez’s presence in Bellator’s upcoming lightweight Grand Prix has also been reconfirmed but Strikeforce is also expected to try and secure Alvarez’s involvement on its shows upon the completion of Bellator’s first season.