It appears former PRIDE double-division champion Dan Henderson will make his return to the Strikeforce cage on December 4th in St. Louis against 36-8 Renato “Babalu” Sobral. The long-rumored pairing should be announced on Monday, September 27th, at a planned press conference along with additional news relating to the card.
Heisman Trophy winner, and newly turned Mixed Martial Artist, Herschel Walker will also be in attendance and is expected to test his skills for a second time in the ring at the St. Louis event.
The 25-8 Henderson has not fought since losing a unanimous decision to Jake Shields last April in his Strikeforce debut. Though he nearly finished Shields in the opening round of the bout, “Hendo” was ultimately out-grappled and found himself on the wrong-side of his opponent’s mount multiple times throughout the remainder of the match-up. The defeat was the first for Henderson in two years and broke a three-fight winning streak including victories over UFC stars Rich Franklin and Michael Bisping.
Comparably, Sobral has won six of his last seven fights including a unanimous decision over Robbie Lawler last June at “Strikeforce: Los Angeles”. The 35-year old Brazilian had earned an originally earned an opportunity to face former light heavyweight title-holder Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal with the performance but opted to pass based on his friendship with the then-champ.
Both “Babalu” and Henderson can boast victories over a number of notable opponents in their impressive careers. Sobral has had his hands raised against UFC 205-pound champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, as well as tough opposition like Chael Sonnen and Trevor Prangley, while Henderson rose to notoriety in Japan while competing in Japan and racking up wins over the likes of “Minotauro” Nogueira, Renzo Gracie, Kazuo Misaki, Wanderlei Silva, and Vitor Belfort.
The two faced off once before in February 2006 in the conclusion of a single-night tournament for the RINGS promotion. Henderson went on to win the bout by majority decision.