A pair of notable debuts are on tap for Strikeforce’s May 15 event in St. Louis, as accomplished grappler Roger Gracie recently confirmed he’ll face fellow light heavyweight Kevin Randleman on the card, while Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro is expected to debut against lightweight Lyle Beerbohm at the event, according to MMAjunkie.
Both matchups could be featured on the event’s Showtime-televised main card, which is headlined by the return of heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem vs. Brett Rogers and also features Andrei Arlovski vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
Gracie (2-0), the 2005 ADCC Absolute Champion who had been expected to debut in November, hasn’t fought since May 2008, when he improved to 2-0 with a first-round submission of Yuki Kondo at Sengoku 2. Randleman (17-14), an early UFC and PRIDE veteran, is coming off back-to-back decision losses to Mike Whitehead in his Strikeforce debut last June and Stanislav Nedkov in Sengoku in November.
Ribeiro, also an accomplished grappler who signed with Strikeforce in September, won 10 of his last 11 fights before losing a decision to Shinya Aoki last July in DREAM. Beerbohm (13-0) improved to 13-0 with a first-round TKO in September and holds notable wins over Duane “Bang” Ludwig and Rafaello Oliveira.
Pictured: Roger Gracie