Photo: Esther Lin/STRIKEFORCE
ST. LOUIS (Dec. 5, 2010) – Legendary MMA superstar Dan Henderson, 41, proved he is back in a major way Saturday as he closed an outstanding night of exciting, non-stop action fights by demolishing former STRIKEFORCE World Champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral in 1:53 in the main event on SHOWTIME® before a crowd of 7,146 at Scottrade Center.
“Hendo answered the questions about his age, about his desire,’’ said SHOWTIME analyst and MMA pioneer, Frank Shamrock, after the fight. “There was never a question about his power.”
Other results on the televised portion of STRIKEFORCE: Henderson vs. Babalu presented by Rockstar Energy Drink:” World-ranked welterweight Paul “Semtex’’ Daley (26-9-2) of Nottingham, England, knocked out Scott “Hands Of Steel” Smith (18-8, 1 NC), of Elk Grove, Calif., with a ferocious counter left hook at 2:09 in the first; new-look Robbie Lawler (18-6, 1 NC), of Granite City, Ill., returned to his old, “Ruthless” self with a devastating 50-second, first-round knockout over Matt “The Law” Lindland (22-8), of Oregon City, Ore., in a middleweight match; Antonio “Big Foot’’ Silva (15-2), of Coconut Creek, Fla., by way of Brazil, rallied to register a second-round TKO (punches) over Mike “Mak’’ Kyle (18-8), of San Jose, Calif., in a heavyweight scrap and former University of Tennessee linebacker Ovince St. Preux (9-4) of Knoxville, Tenn., won his sixth in a row and second in two weeks with a dominant three-round unanimous decision over Benji “Razor’’ Radach (19-6, 1 NC), of Laguna Beach, Calif., at light heavyweight (205 pounds).
“I’ve said it before but not often enough: we have some of the most devastating and talented fighters in the world on the STRIKEFORCE roster,’’ said STRIKEFORCE CEO Scott Coker after the final STRIKEFORCE fight card of the year. “And these guys — Hendo, Daley, Lawler — proved it tonight. These aren’t even the champs of their divisions in STRIKEFORCE and they put on some display tonight.
“This is a second chance for Daley. He’s shown remorse for his past action and he’s earned the right to keep fighting. As for Mike Kyle: Watch out at 205 because he’s got devastating power.”
Henderson, making his first fight at 205 pounds in three years, moved a step closer to a title shot against STRIKEFORCE Light Heavyweight Champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.
“Whoever STRIKEFORCE comes up with, I’ll fight,’’ said Henderson, who floored Babalu with two solid right hands and finished him with a series of shots. “But I prefer 205. I’m ready to fight at 185 but there are plenty of good fights for me at 205.
“My body felt better for this fight. I appreciate all the support from the fans in St. Louis.’’
This was the second victory over Babalu for Henderson, who won a decision in February 2000.