Dan Henderson’s thunderous Strikeforce debut may have come a day late and a dollar short, but he sure made up for it with his devastating 1stRound knockout of Renato “Babalu” Sobral on Saturday night. Hendo is now up 2-0 on the Brazilian after having collected a majority decision win a decade ago in Japan.
Because Henderson was coming off an award winning KO victory over Michael Bisping in the middleweight division at UFC 100, he wanted to begin his Strikeforce career in that same weight class. Unfortunately for the 40-year-old, he was less than spectacular in his opener for the San Jose, California based promotion.
He posted a lackluster unanimous decision loss to then 185-pound champ Jake Shields in April on CBS’ infamous “Nashville” broadcast.
“My body felt better than it has in a long time,” Henderson stated after bumping his record to an impressive 26-8 mark. “I was trying to be patient. I knew it was going to come. It was just faster than I expected.”
Henderson came out in his customary right-hand-cocked-ready-to-greet-your-face stance. The wily vet even managed to fire off a Superman punch, although the fancy strike did no damage.
Babalu shot for a takedown, but Henderson was able to fend him off and maintain top position. Henderson flung his opponent’s legs to the side and started raining down rights that put the former Strikeforce champ to sleep.
The vicious beating came to an end at 1:53 in the 1stRound.
“Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II” took place inside the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Showtime aired the main card, which featured four highlight reel (T)KO finishes – three coming in the 1stRound – to go with one lopsided unanimous decision.
Speaking of scraps decided by the officials sitting cage-side…
UFC counter-programmed Saturday night’s show with a freebie Spike TV broadcast of “The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale.” All five of their televised fights went the distance.