After an uninspired performance against Mike Whitehead in Strikeforce and just a 3-7 record in his last 10 bouts, can Kevin Randleman reverse his fortunes against Bulgarian upstart Stanislav Nedkov?
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Following a lackluster June decision loss to Mike Whitehead in Strikeforce, Kevin Randleman (17-13) is headed back to Japan, where he'll take on undefeated Bulgarian wrestler Stanislav Nedkov (7-0) on November 7th under the Sengoku banner. While the bout has yet to be officially announced by parent company World Victory Road, MMA Weekly reports that both parties have verbally agreed to the light heavyweight scrap. Though it was reported last month that Randleman could clash with hot prospect "King" Mo Lawal, it's now rumored that Lawal passed on the fight in favor of a Strikeforce date with Gegard Mousasi.
Randleman -- who's fought just twice since the dissolution of PRIDE FC in late 2007 -- previously appeared in Sengoku's second event last May, where he took a grinding unanimous decision over LHW King of Pancrase Ryo Kawamura. The 38-year-old "Monster" has since married and now claims to be in top shape, despite gassing early on in his snoozer against Whitehead.
On the heels of such a performance, the lesser-known and less experienced Nedkov might be considered a favorite in this match-up. All seven of the Shooto Bulgaria product's professional bouts have ended in stoppage wins, his most notable (and most recent) coming over 70-fight veteran Travis Wiuff in Sengoku this past May.
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In December, it's Spike 22 vs. DEEP. Guam champs Justin Cruz [URCC, 140 lbs] and Roque Martinez [PXC, heavyweight] will face the DEEP champs for this event. Some of my other guys like Baby Joe might get on this card as well.
Just connecting the dots, Cruz could have one of two opponents, since he fights between the weights of DEEP featherweight ace Takafumi Otsuka and bantamweight champ Masakazu Imanari. (One would imagine they'd ask him to move up against the young and newly-crowned Otsuka.) Martinez will likely face DEEP's "Megaton" champion Yusuke Kawaguchi (9-1), should Kawaguchi emerge victorious from his rematch with Seigo Mizuguchi (6-4) later this month.
These Guam vs. Japan bouts will probably take place at DEEP's "45th Impact," and this isn't the only rumor I've heard about DEEP's December show, either. Think along the lines of DREAM's "big surprise" from last month.
Greatest Common Multiple today announced a couple bouts for its next Cage Force show, which will go back-to-back with a Valkyrie card at Differ Ariake on October 24th. (Talk about a busy weekend for J-MMA - the 25th has events from DREAM, Pancrase and Shooto.)
In the main event, former Olympic wrestler Katsuhiko Nagata (4-6-1) will look to halt his five-fight winless skid against Tsudanuma Dojo up-and-comer Daisuke Hoshino (5-1), while the undercard will feature a bantamweight scrap between colorful Shooto favorite Tetsu "Hadairo" (9-7-3) and Isao Terada (6-7-4, 1 NC), who's coming off a surprising June submission win overf Yuta Nezu.
Valkyrie's main event has Misaki Takimoto (10-11-4) going up against... Valkyrie matchmaker Yasuko Mogi (4-4). It's a trash headliner, but I guess Mogi was put in a tough spot due to Yuka Tsuji being injured and unable to defend her belt against V-Hajime. At least the rest of the show has some solid fights, like Emi Fujino (8-3) vs. Jet Izumi (5-5-1).