Former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman will make his promotional debut against Mike Whitehead at Strikeforce “Lawler vs. Shields” on June 6 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Strikeforce Director of Communications Mike Afromowitz made Sherdog.com aware of the matchup on Thursday.
The talented but oft-injured Randleman (17-12) has fought only twice since 2005. The 37-year-old last appeared at Sengoku “Second Battle” in May 2008, when he defeated Ryo Kawamura by unanimous decision. A two-time national champion wrestler at Ohio State University, Randleman was inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame in 2004. The recently married father of two has lost seven of his past 10 fights but holds victories against Pedro Rizzo, 2006 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix winner Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and reigning Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral. Randleman has not fought on American soil since he submitted to a Mauricio “Shogun” Rua kneebar at Pride 32 in October 2006.
Whitehead (23-6), meanwhile, has posted 14 wins in 15 fights dating back to his unanimous decision loss to Keith Jardine at UFC 57. The 27-year-old last appeared in October, when he submitted Leo Pla with a first-round guillotine choke at an M-1 Challenge event. He counts victories against Ben Rothwell, Mark Kerr and Krzysztof Soszynski among his 23 career conquests. Whitehead has never been submitted and has not been finished since his technical knockout loss to Brandon Vera at WEC 13 in January 2005.
A catchweight bout pairing former EliteXC champions Robbie Lawler and Jake Shields will headline the June 6 show, which will be carried live on Showtime. UFC veterans Nick Diaz and Scott Smith are also scheduled to collide.
Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields
Saturday, June 6
Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Shields
Nick Diaz vs. Scott Smith
Kevin Randleman vs. Mike Whitehead
Phil Baroni vs. Joe Riggs
Rafael Cavalcante vs. Jared Hamman
Jesse Finney vs. Josh Baumgartner
Tyron Woodley vs. Sal Woods
Scott Ventimiglia vs. Lucas Lopes
Pat Benson vs. Dave Lehr Cochran
Booker DeRousse vs. James Wade