A tumultuous week for Strikeforce has finally come to an end…hopefully. The “Henderson vs. Babalu” event this Saturday was in serious jeopardy when over the past six days three of its bouts, including two from the main card, were scrapped due to fighter injuries. The promotion scrambled to find last-minute replacements to fulfill the ten-fight card Strikeforce promised its fans. Fill-ins “Semtex” Paul Daley (22-10-2) and “MAK” Mike Kyle (14-7-1) stepped up to the plate to take on “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (16-7) and “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (13-2), respectively. Today it was announced that Strikeforce has filled its tenth and final slot with a match between “The Razor” Benji Radach (19-5) and Ovince St. Preux (8-4). The two fighters will meet in a welterweight match-up as the premier bout on the main card, which was originally intended for Herschel Walker (1-0) vs. Scott Carson (4-1).
Radach was a dangerous young gun coming up through regional promotions and barreling his way into the UFC, knocking out most who stood in his way, until a broken jaw he sustained in his June 2004 match against “The Crippler” Chris Leben (21-7) sidelined “The Razor” for two-and-a-half years. Since his return to professional MMA Radach has gone 6-2 with the only losses coming by International Fight League’s (IFL) “Suave” Matt Horwich (26-13-1) in the 2007 Grand Prix Finals and Scott Smith in his April 2009 Strikeforce debut. Radach’s injury-plagued career also includes a golf ball-sized chunk being removed from his leg due to an infected brown recluse spider bite, surgeries for a herniated disc and torn knee ligament, a MRSA staph infection, broken hands, a broken collarbone, and this past February a staph infection prompted by a surgery he underwent for a torn pectoral muscle suffered during training. “The Razor” is resilient and always seems to bounce back from his health problems, continuously proving himself a formidable opponent in the 170lb. division. The 31-year-old former wrestler has racked up a staggering 15 technical knockouts/knockouts in his 19 total wins; Radach’s remaining four victories are split evenly among submissions and decisions. The knockout artist has fights in the IFL, UFC, and Elite XC to his credit, with wins over Nick Serra (4-3), former IFL Middleweight Champion Ryan McGivern (13-7), UFC veteran “Hurricane” Gerald Harris (17-3), and Murilo Rua (17-11-1). Radach comes into the fight the much more experienced man, having competed professionally in twice as many bouts as his opponent St. Preux.
Haitian native Ovince St. Preux comes into Saturday’s match boasting five consecutive wins, the most recent of which coming less than two weeks ago against Antwain Britt (12-5) at Strikeforce Challengers 12. In his previous fight the 6-foot-3 light heavyweight achieved a stunning knockout over UFC veteran Jason Day (16-10) just eight seconds into the first round. St. Preux is a former linebacker for the University of Tennessee Vols and more than once has used his power to bully opponents around the cage. Of his eight total wins, five have come by KO/TKO, two by submission, and one by decision. Saturday night marks St. Preux’s third appearance for the California-based promotion.
Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Sobral 2 Fight Card
Ben Brown vs. JW Wright
Lee Brousseau vs. Mike Glenn
Terrell Brown vs. Patrick Cummins
Justin Lawrence vs. Max Martyniouk
Fernando Bettega vs. Wayne Phillips
Benji Radach vs. Ovince St. Preux
Antonio Silva vs. Mike Kyle
Paul Daley vs. Scott Smith
Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Lindland
Dan Henderson vs. Renato Sobral