The promotion revealed that his first action as a Strikeforce fighter will be against former IFLer Mike Whitehead on the June 6 “Lawler vs. Shields” fight card in St. Louis. Strikeforce Director of Communications Mike Afromowitz confirmed the bout to Sherdog.com on Thursday.
Randleman has been fighting since 1996. At one time, he held the UFC heavyweight championship, but has seen his career follow a wild roller coaster ride since exiting the promotion in 2002 and moving on to the Pride Fighting Championships in Japan.
After Pride sold to the Fertitta brothers – owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship – and subsequently was shuttered, Randleman sat out of action for a year and a half due to a falsified drug test in Nevada and a life-threatening bout against staph infection.
He won a unanimous decision in his most recent fight, against Ryo Kawamura under the Sengoku banner in May of last year.
With a solid 23-6 overall record in MMA, Whitehead has been on a tremendous streak, having gone 14-1 in his past 15 bouts, since a loss to Keith Jardine in his lone UFC appearance. The lone loss during those 15 bouts for The Ultimate Fighter alumnus was to Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
The June 6 fight card is headlined by a catchweight bout between Robbie Lawler and Jake Shields. Also highlighting the main card are fights pitting Nick Diaz against Scott Smith and Phil Baroni facing Joe Riggs.
Strikeforce “Lawler vs. Shields” will be the promotions second major event on the Showtime network.