Remember Bobby Southworth ... the guy who called Chris Leben a "fatherless bastard" on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 1?
Well, it turns out he's still alive. Not only is he still breathing, but he's the current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. And he'll likely put that title on the line against Anthony "El Toro" Ruiz at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on June 27.
This is an interesting fight because the two just faced off five months ago at Strikeforce: "Four Men Enter, One Man Survives" in a non title bout. It ended with Ruiz's hand being raised; however, the fight was called by a ringside doctor because of a cut Soutworth sustained over his left eye in the second round.
The 38-year-old Southworth (8-5) won the Strikeforce 205-pound title back in 2006, outscoring Vernon "Tiger" White on the judges scorecards. Since winning the strap he has defended it once successfully against Bill Mahood last September. Less than 2 months later he lost to Ruiz and now is looking to prove he would have won that battle had it not been for the cut.
"El Toro" (20-10) is on a six-fight win streak, including two wins against Jimmy Ambriz (11-9-1) and TUF 3 alum Brad "The Hillbilly Heartthrob" Imes (10-4) since his win over Southworth. He's a knockout artist with 12 of his wins coming by way of (T)KO.
Ruiz does not have good submission defense. He's been forced to tapout eight times in his professional career -- a weakness Southworth could attempt to exploit come June 27. For what it's worth Southworth isn't anything special on the ground, either, and is basically a stand up fighter himself.
But, he does have 4 submission victories to his credit. And he might be reluctant to stand with the hard hitting Ruiz for too long. Or I could be wrong and Southworth might just throw caution to the wind and bang it out with Ruiz until one of them falls or gets cut ... like last time.
We'll find out on fight night.
Strikeforce Lighweight Champion Gilbert Melendez is also scheduled to put his 155-pound title on the line that same evening against Josh "The Punk" Thomson.
Should be a great show, which will air on the Showtime premium cable channel at 10 p.m. ET.