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Monday October 1, 2007 6:28 AM PST

 

Strikeforce news & notes

By Gary Herman

Babalu strikes in

Recently let go from the UFC, Renato “Babalu” Sobral already has a new home.

Sobral signed a three-fight contract with Strikeforce.

“Strikeforce is a very strong organization. They are bringing in a lot of good fighters in my weight class,” said Sobral.

According to Sobral, two other fighters headed to Strikeforce are Kevin “Monster” Randleman and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. Sobral has his sights set on both of the former Pride Fighting Championship competitors.

“I’d like to fight both Randleman and Cyborg,” Sobral said.

Sobral was released from his UFC contract for the well-publicized incident in August when he refused to release a chokehold for a few seconds after opponent David Heath tapped out.

“I am sorry for what happened for my fans,” said Sobral. “The commission didn’t suspend me so I’ll be in the cage soon.”

Sobral believes he’ll be back before the end of the year.

“I hope to fight in December,” said Sobral.

Lightweight mega-fight

Two of the top 155 lb fighters in the world fight with the Strikeforce organization in champion Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson. They may very well be on a collision course.

Melendez is ready for the challenge.

“I’ll fight Josh Thomson as soon as (Strikeforce President) Scott Coker says so,” said Melendez.

“I’m the champion. I’ll take on anyone,” Melendez said. “Josh Thomson is a great fighter, but I don’t plan on losing my belt anytime soon.”

Thomson sees the potential match up, as one of the best the sport has to offer.

“It will be better than any UFC fight or any Pride fight. It will be a great fight,” said Thomson.

“We are two of the best lightweights in the world. He’s going to have a couple of more fights, and I will have a couple of more fights,” said Thomson.

Thomson is confident the contest will take place.

“The fight will happen in 2008 for sure,” Thomson said.

Puder challenges Sapp

Immediately after his victory over Richard Dalton, Daniel Puder waste little time locating the person he wants to fight next.

He was sitting at ringside.

“After the match, I went and told Bob Sapp I want to fight him,” Puder said.

Puder said that Sapp was more than willing to accept the challenge.

“Sapp is going to talk to Scott Coker about it. We want to make it happen,” said Puder. “I want to fight him next year.”

Ultimate thank you

After a victory on a recent UFC show, former Ultimate Fighter champion Nate Diaz reached out to Melendez.

“Congratulations to Nick (Diaz) and Jake Shields in Hawaii. Gilbert, you’re next (to win),” said Diaz.

Melendez responded to Diaz’s comments.

“It’s great that Nate won. Jake (Shields) and Nick (Diaz) used to train together first, and no one knew who Nate and I were when we were coming up,” said Melendez. “Nate’s my boy.”

Diaz and Melendez have a long history sparring together.

“Nate and I fought at least 150 times against one another. When we fight, it is the most exciting fight anyone will ever see,” Melendez said.

Matt Lindland’s next opponent?

Co-promoting the card with Strikeforce was Bodog Fight. One of the top fighters for Bodog is Matt Lindland. Lindland was been inactive since his April defeat to Fedor Emelianenko. However, an opponent for Lindland appears to be on the horizon.

That man could very well former UFC fighter Trevor Prangley. Prangley confirmed that discussions are underway.

“It has been talked about,” said Prangley. “I would love to fight him.”

Shamrock’s return

Coming off his victory against Phil Baroni last June, Frank Shamrock finally has a timeframe for his return to the cage.

“I’ll be back in the cage early next year – in March or April,” said Shamrock.

Shamrock also said his knee is healing well, and it should not be a problem next spring.

Impressive Victory?

Joe “Diesel” Riggs defeated Eugene Jackson by KO in dominating fashion at the Playboy Mansion.

When asked about at the fighting at the Mansion, Riggs hoped one person in particular was impressed.

“I hope Hef (Hugh Hefner) watched the fight. That was for you, Hef,” said Riggs.


 

 
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