Former UFC heavyweight champion, Kevin Randleman, has apparently inked a deal with the San Jose-based Strikeforce promotion to make a return to mixed martial arts action in 2009, according to a report on FightHype.com.
"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.
Here's a snip:
"If someone is gonna beat me, they better beat me while I'm still getting back in shape."
The April 11 Strikeforce card will feature Nick Diaz and Frank Shamrock facing off in the evening’s main event at a catchweight of 179 pounds. Also scheduled to do battle is Scott Smith as he faces Benji Radach and Joe Riggs taking on former Elite XC Welterweight Champion Jake Shields.
While Randleman is unlikely to compete that soon, the promotion has a deal with the premium cable network Showtime to air up to sixteen events this year.
It probably won't be long before we see "The Monster" back inside the cage.