Former UFC Champs Belfort And Randleman Meet In Strikeforce Showdown
Tickets On Sale For Cage Fighting Mega-Card
April, 29, 2006; New York, NY….Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) crown holders, Vitor Belfort and Kevin “The Monster” Randleman, will collide during the main event of Strikeforce’s second mixed martial arts cage fight card at San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion on Friday, June 9th.
The 29 year old Belfort’s return to the cage comes off the heels of his explosive debut in the sport of professional boxing that saw him score a first round knockout of Josemario Neves during an event in Salvador, Brazil on April 11th.
Belfort’s last start in the cage, which came in London, England on December 3rd, ended in similar fashion as he reeled off a second round stoppage of Antony Rea.
Randleman, who recently underwent surgery to have a tumor removed from his lung, is also coming off of an impressive return to action. On October 9th, the chiseled 34-year-old wrestler battled his way to a unanimous judges’ decision win over Fatih Kocamis during a mixed martial arts card in The Netherlands.
A native of Brazil and a six-time veteran of the Japan-based Pride Fighting Championship, Belfort burst onto the mixed martial arts scene at age 19 in 1996 and quickly gained distinction for his explosive punching prowess that outshined his superior Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills. Belfort’s hands led him to five consecutive knockouts in his first five professional starts, earning him the nickname “The Phenom.”
While Belfort has claimed victories over a host of big names in the sport including Randy Couture, Heath Herring, and Gilbert Yvel, it was his stunning 44 second stoppage of Wanderlei Silva on October 16, 1998 that remains his greatest conquest to date as well as one of the sport’s most memorable moments. A technical knockout was declared after Belfort unloaded an onslaught of punches that forced Silva back from one end of the cage to the other.
Belfort is a former member of Brazilian Top Team, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu squad founded by legendary and recently deceased trainer, Carlson Gracie.
Likewise, Randleman’s resume boasts a list of impressive wins including those over former world champion Maurice Smith and Renato “Babalu” Sobral. On November 14, 1999, Randleman defeated Pete Williams for the vacant UFC heavyweight title and successfully defended his championship seven months later by taking a five round decision from superstar Pedro Rizzo.
On April 25, 2004, Randleman notched his greatest triumph to date when he slugged his way to a first round knockout of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic during Pride Fighting Championship’s “Total Elimination 2004” all-star card.
A veteran of 10 Pride bouts, Randleman hails from Columbus, Ohio and is a member of The Hammer House fight team captained by former champion Mark “The Hammer” Coleman.
Tickets for the Strikeforce mixed martial arts cage fighting event are officially on sale at the HP Pavilion box office (408-287-7070) as well as at all Ticketmaster (408-998-TIXS) outlets and Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com).
On Friday, March 10th, Strikeforce made history twice over 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 the HP Pavilion, played host to 18,265 fans, the largest-ever attendance at a mixed martial arts fight card held in North America.
The Strikeforce mixed martial arts event is being promoted and produced by Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment (SVS&E, www.svse.net), a leading producer of major sporting and entertainment events and the exclusive producer of such events for San Jose, California’s largest entertainment venue, HP Pavilion. SVS&E’s many properties include “Fight Night at the Tank” professional boxing; the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks; and the annual ATP men’s professional tennis “SAP Open” event.