World class grappler and mixed martial arts enigma Roger Gracie will finally make his Strikeforce debut when he tangles with free-falling light heavyweight Kevin Randleman at "Heavy Artillery" on May 15 in St. Louis, MO.
The celebrated ADCC and CBJJ jiu-jitsu champion made his fighting debut back at Bodog’s ‘USA vs. Russia’ event way back in December of 2006, forcing muscular mauler Ron "H20" Waterman say uncle courtesy of a textbook armbar.
Despite showing much promise, Gracie has only competed once since then -- a 2008 submission win over fading Japanese star Yuki Kondo at Sengoku 2 in May of 2008.
He was expected to appear on separate occasions under the Sengoku banner but pulled out of a fight against Travis Wiuff after suffering a rib injury and was then denied a second time when his next opponent, Jeff Monson, fought the law (and the law won).
Despite the layoff, he matches up well against the ice-cold Randleman. While he's a tremendous wrestler bearing a resume littered with the world's top fighters across multiple weight classes, "The Monster" has dropped a staggering 9 of his last 12, including a cardio-deprived decision loss to Mike Whitehead in his Strikeforce debut last June.
And it certainly doesn't help that close to half his losses have come by way of submission.
Speaking of submissions, Greg Jackson product "Smokin'"Joey Villasenor will try to keep his limbs out of the red zone against another gifted grappler when he looks to extend his winning streak to five straight at the expense of Ronaldo Souza.
"Jacare" tapped longtime MMA veteran Matt Lindland in his Strikeforce debut at last December's "Evolution" event after a torrid run through DREAM overseas. Expect to see him in the title mix with a win over Villasenor.
"Heavy Artillery" boasts an impressive line-up of heavyweight attractions with Brett "The Grim" Rogers finally getting his hands on Alistair "Demolition Man" Overeem while Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski tries to return to relevance against Antonio "Junior" Silva.
Keep it locked in to MMAmania.com for more updates on this still-developing fight card.