CBS Features Strikeforce Fighters on “NCIS: Los Angeles”

This evening’s installment of “NCIS: Los Angeles” will follow LL Cool J’s character, Sam Hanna, as he investigates the murder of a U.S. Marine by going undercover as a fighter. However, this is not just another episode of the west coast version of “NCIS”, as several of Strikeforce’s most prominent mixed martial artists are set to appear on the CBS primetime show tonight.

At 9 p.m. ET, Dan Henderson and Gilbert Melendez, who each are fighting for a championship belt at “Strikeforce: Nashville”, will join the cast of “NCIS: Los Angeles”. Alongside two of the biggest names in the promotion, Frank Shamrock, KJ Noons, Josh Thomson, and former-middleweight champion Cung Le will also be featured in the episode. Each fighter has been cast in the same role as his real life profession.

However, the mixed martial arts influence does not stop there, as MMA referee and celebrity “Big” John McCarthy will appear at some point in the episode.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” premiered on Sept. 22 of 2009 and features a cast including Chris O’Donnell and Daniela Ruah. Tonight’s episode, titled “Hand-to-Hand” is the 19th installment of the first season of the series.

The special episode will air less than two weeks prior to the highly anticipated “Strikeforce: Nashville”, which is set for April 17 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The event features a middleweight championship bout between champion Jake Shields and Dan Henderson.

Also airing live on CBS is a lightweight title bout between Strikeforce 155-pound champion Gilbert Melendez and the DREAM champion of the same division, Shinya Aoki. If that was not enough, light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi will defend his 205-pound title for the first time against Mohammed “King Mo” Lawal.

The live broadcast is set to air the three championship fights, but a middleweight match up between Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Tim Stout could make the main card if time permits. The event airs live on CBS at 9 p.m. ET and will be the second Strikeforce card to be featured on CBS.