When I was a kid, the only real mystery in my life was ‘Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?’. If Carmen San Diego had a kid with Waldo, no one would ever find it. Carmen can wait, where the hell is Robbie Lawler’s opponent for Strikeforce: Evolution?
After the card was announced in late October, we were given a list of participants and was expected to compile our very own list of potential match-ups. It was like ‘Choose your own adventure‘ but the MMA armchair-promoter version. Initially, we were given Scott Smith, Cung Le, Jacare, Robbie Lawler and King Mo accompanied by a neat little poster. On November 17th, King Mo announced he was ‘popping a pimp’ and from our Inspector Gadget detective abilities, we deducted it would be none other than Mike Whitehead. The same Mike Whitehead that shocked the world when he grabbed a unanimous decision victor over Kevin Randleman last summer (while I lived on my friend’s sofa in East Hollywood). After Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers went down, Smith vs. Cung Le was official.
This left us with Jacare and Lawler.
Back in August, these two were supposed to meet in an undisclosed bout sometime in the Fall of 2009. However, Robbie Lawler made it abundantly clear that he didn’t even want Jacare and would prefer to fight Matt Lindland. Somehow, this got interpreted as ‘Screw it, throw Jacare vs. Lindland together just to see what happens’. Everyone on Strikeforce: Evolution was accounted for except our dude, Robbie Lawler. Bas Rutten’s protege, Benji Radach, was on tap for Robbie Lawler but the dude was never medically cleared to train for the fight. Benji Radach had to drop out and once again, Lawler was that guy at the prom with no date. Trevor Prangley stepped up to the plate to face Robbie Lawler but as of yesterday, he’s been sidelined with an injury.
So if it were up to us and we had the Strikeforce edition of ‘Choose your own adventure’, we would immediately turn to the page that begins with ‘Melvin Manhoef gets on a plane to Fresno, California’. He’s perhaps the most interesting match-up for Robbie Lawler and when we interviewed him, Manhoef told us he was training for Dynamite!! 2009. Well the K-1 press conference went down this morning in Japan and Manhoef’s name was no where to be mentioned in bouts for Dynamite!! 2009. Could this mean that K-1 got the word of Prangley’s injury and scrapped Manhoef off the card solely for Strikeforce? Could this also mean I’m looking entirely too deep into all of this? Probably, but that still does not negate the fact that ‘Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?’ and ‘Choose your own adventure’ will be in your head for the rest of the day. See, it’s like junior-high all over again.