Do you wanna be a f-ing fighter?
So much for that heartfelt speech "The Monster" gave us at the post-fight press conference for Strikeforce: "Shamrock vs. Diaz" earlier this month.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman inked a deal with the San Jose-based promotion to make a return to mixed martial arts action and hinted at a June 6 debut in St. Louis -- with plans to make an immediate impact.
Here's a snip:
"Now that I'm here, understand this – it comes from the heart. I'll fight anybody, anywhere. When Scott (Coker) says it's time to get down and dirty, understand this: I'm not coming to lose, and I'm not coming to back up."
Though according to Ariel Helwani over at MMA Fanhouse, "back up" is exactly what he did when Strikeforce officials presented him with the chance to fill in for a paternal Renato Sobral at the upcoming "Lawler vs. Shields" event at Missouri's Scottrade Center.
"Babalu" voluntarily withdrew from his first-ever light heavyweight title defense against former EliteXC superstar Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante because his wife is expected to have a baby around the same time as the event.
Strikeforce brass have been scrambling for a replacement, and Randleman seemed (on paper) like a perfect fit -- though apparently Randleman doesn't see it that way.
Talk about wasting an opportunity -- a win over Cavalcante could put him in line for the 205-pound strap after Babalu is done changing diapers.
"The Monster" last competed on the second Sengoku card in May 2008, pulling out a unanimous decision victory over Ryo Kawamura (9-3-2). The fight was Randleman’s first MMA bout since 2006 — a submission loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at Pride 32: "The Real Deal."
It’s been a pretty bumpy ride for ex-Hammerhouse fighter.
In addition to surviving a SERIOUS staph infection that could have killed him if went untreated, Randleman — who is now training with XTreme Couture out of Las Vegas — was also stopped for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), intimidating a public officer and other charges in Sin City in late 2007.
He satisfied a one-year suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), which was issued for providing a non-human urine sample following his loss to Rua.
The two-time NCAA Division I Wrestling Champion from Ohio State University defeated Pete Williams at UFC 23 in 1999 to capture the vacant heavyweight title. Randleman’s title reign was brief, however, when Randy Couture stopped him the following year via technical knockout (strikes) at UFC 28 in round three of their championship bout.
Now nearly ten years later, the 37-year old Randleman is looking to recapture some of that old glory. Perhaps someone from the old Hammerhouse crew can tell the hammerhead that in order to do that, you have to first accept an actual fight, and not just pound on a desk at a press conference.
The real loser here is Cavalcante, an exceptional talent with no one willing to engage.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more on Strikeforce: "Lawler vs. Shields" as it develops.