ST. LOUIS-AREA FIGHTERS ADDED TO STRIKEFORCE EVENT DEC. 4 IN GATEWAY CITY ON SHOWTIME®
Lee Brousseau Faces Mike Glenn; Ben Brown Meets J.W. Wright
NEW YORK (Nov. 23, 2010) – Four Missouri mixed martial artists, including three from St. Louis and the area, will compete in two fights formally announced by STRIKEFORCE Monday for the non-televised portion of STRIKEFORCE: Henderson vs. Babalu on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
In a light heavyweight (205 pounds) match, Lee Brousseau (7-2), of River Wood, Mo., will be opposed by Mike Glenn (6-4) of Springfield, Mo., while Ben Brown (1-0), of St. Louis, will take on J.W. Wright (pro debut) of St. Louis by way of Steelville, Mo., in a 130 pound catchweight bout.
In the main event of a stacked card on STRIKEFORCE’s return to Scottrade Center, MMA superstar Dan Henderson (25-8) of Temecula, Calif., faces former STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight world champion Renato "Babalu" Sobral (36-8) of Brazil in a rematch between world-class 205-pounders.
Other televised fights: Former world heavyweight champion Antonio "Big Foot” Silva (14-2), of Coconut Creek, Fla., by way of Brazil, confronts the older brother of STRIKEFORCE heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, Valentijn "The Python” Overeem (28-23), of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Paul "Semtex” Daley (25-9-2) of Nottingham, England, battles Scott "Hands Of Steel" Smith (17-7, 1 NC), of Elk Grove, Calif., in a matchup of explosive welterweights (170 pounds), former world champion and exciting local favorite "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler (17-6, 1 NC), of Granite City, Ill., goes up against 2000 Olympic Games silver medalist Matt "The Law" Lindland (22-7) of Oregon City, Ore., in a middleweight (185 pounds) scrap and football legend, the remarkable Herschel Walker (1-0), of Wrightsville, Ga., will clash with Scott Carson (4-1), of Lake Forest, Calif., in a heavyweight fight.
Tickets are on sale at Scottrade Center, online at Ticketmaster.com and Strikeforce.com or by phone (800) 745-3000. Doors at Scottrade Center will open for the event at 6 p.m. CT. The first preliminary bout will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the first televised main card fight will begin at 9 p.m.
Brousseau has won three of his last four fights, including a 1:21, first-round submission (guillotine choke) over Oscar Glover in his last start on Aug. 21.
"I’m absolutely looking to make amends on Dec. 4,” said Brousseau, who was submitted (rear-naked choke) by Francisco France in his STRIKEFORCE debut last May 15 at Scottrade. "Honestly, I just got caught. I’d love to have a rematch. I don’t talk down to anybody and have respect for everybody that does what we do, but I don’t feel he is that much better than me. It just turned out he took advantage of an opportunity before I could. He deserves credit.”
Shortly after the loss, Brousseau became a fulltime member of Matt Hughes’ H.I.T. Squad in nearby Granite City, Ill. "I’d been going there on and off for two-and-a-half years, but I decided after my fight in STRIKEFORCE to go there all the time,” said Brousseau, a native of Brockport, N.Y.
Brousseau’s other loss came on a second-round submission to Greg Lofink on Oct. 11, 2009. They rematched on April 11, 2010, and Brousseau won in 18 seconds (TKO, punches).
"Before I can think about a rematch with France, I know I have to win on Dec. 4,” said Brousseau, who went 4-0 at the outset of a career that began in 2006. "I’m definitely looking forward to fighting at home and showing the fans what I’m all about.
"My coaches tell me Glenn is a tough, scrappy guy who is decent all-around and not bad anywhere. He is definitely going to be a tough opponent. This should be a great fight. I’m looking forward to it.”
Glenn, who was born, raised and still resides in Springfield, Mo., is confident he can regain his winning ways in his STRIKEFORCE debut.
"I am 100 percent ready, physically and mentally, and totally motivated for this opportunity,” said Glenn. "In this fight you have two fighters with a lot to prove. This means a lot to both of us and it is our chance to move up. It ought to be a very exciting fight from start to finish.”
The 6-foot-1, recently turned 33-year-old Glenn was an excellent athlete at Parkview High in Springfield. He was the starting quarterback in football and the Most Valuable Player on the baseball team. He gravitated to combat sports after graduation.
"I boxed and kick-boxed and my brothers boxed,” Glenn said. "Then, I got into Jiu-Jitsu. After about three weeks, I was submitting my instructor.”
Glenn made his MMA debut in September 2007. "I don’t exactly know how to describe my style,” he said. "I consider myself a true mixed martial artist and feel I can do it all, whether on the ground or standing.”
Regarding his opponent, the longtime member of the Springfield Fight Club said, "I don’t know a lot about Brousseau but from what I’ve seen on film he’s athletic, strong and likes to bang. In a lot of ways, he actually reminds me a lot of me, although I may have the advantage in the ground game.”
Wright, 34, will be making his professional and STRIKEFORCE debut. The 5-foot-7 married father of two boys was born in Steelville, Mo., and moved to St. Louis at the age of 16.
Wright fought amateurs several years ago but has been doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the last 14 years. In 2008, he earned a Royler Gracie black belt.
"Getting that black belt is what really got me going and thinking MMA would be the way to go,” Wright said. "There aren’t a lot of American-born black belts.
"I’ve been training and doing well against MMA fighters and, now, especially since small fighters like me who only weigh around 130 pounds are getting opportunities, I decided to go for it. Before, nobody wanted to watch us little guys, just the heavyweights.
"I know Brown is a well-rounded MMA fighter and solid in all the disciplines. He’ll obviously be a tough opponent. But I’m definitely prepared. I’ve competed all my life.”
Wright is a full-time instructor at his own school, Grappling Concepts in St. Peters, Mo. He won the Black Belt Pan American Games in Irvine, Calif., in April 2010. It is the biggest tournament of its kind the world with over 2800 competitors.
Brown (2-2), who was born in St. Louis and always lived in the area, is an instructor at Jesse Finney’s MMA in St. Louis. He’s won his last two fights by submission, but will be making his first start since winning by rear-naked choke over Brian Jordan on May 5, 2007. All of Brown’s fights have ended in the first round.
Growing up, the 5-foot-7, 25-year-old trained in Muay Thai, Pancrase, Taekwondo and Jiu-Jitsu. He became interested in wrestling in middle school. He was an all-state wrestler at 119 pounds at Lafayette High in Ballwin, Mo., before attending the University of Missouri.
"I knew I wouldn’t have time to wrestle and study at Mizzou,” he recalled, "so one day I googled ‘intramural wrestling’ and stumbled on a website, Mezzo Pankration Club, which met at rec centers a few times a week. That was the first time I really trained in all the aspects in one place.”
Brown went 6-0 in the amateurs before turning pro. "I’ve been a competitive guy since I became involved in combat sports when I was seven or eight,” he said. "I’ve always felt I was on the path of what I was supposed to do, and now I am doing it.”
His four pro fights emanated in mid-Missouri; this is his first fight in St. Louis. Ironically, he was at the last STRIKEFORCE event in The Gateway City – as a spectator.
"My dad and I had tickets and during the fights we were kind of joking around about how cool it would be once I got to fight on a great card like that one. Who knew I’d be fighting on the next STRIKEFORCE card in my hometown? This is really cool and a tremendous opportunity.
"I know Wright is a tough Jiu-Jitsu guy with a Sambo background, but I’m really looking forward to fighting him in front of my family and friends. It’s an honor for me to fight on such a great show.”
STRIKEFORCE (www.strikeforce.com <http://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.
STRIKEFORCE – Mike Afromowitz (917) 566 8754, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brener Zwikel & Associates – Steve Pratt (818) 462-5602, SteveP@BZAPR.com
John Beyrooty (562) 233-7477, Johnnybey@aol.com