Light heavyweight contenders set to scrap in Columbus
The Strikeforce light heavyweight title picture got a little bit clearer Monday morning, and perhaps the third time will be the charm for 205-pound matchup.
Mike Kyle (19-8-1, 3-3-1 Strikeforce) will face Gegard Mousasi (32-3-2, 3-1-1 Strikeforce) on March 3 at Strikeforce’s next event in Columbus, Ohio. Kyle announced the fight booking on his Twitter account Monday morning.
It is the third time the bout has been attempted to be made. The first time, nine months ago, Kyle suffered a broken hand in training and was replaced by Keith Jardine. And in September, Mousasi had to pull out of the fight.
But this time, there could be a little more at stake. Strikeforce’s light heavyweight title is vacant – Dan Henderson re-signed with the UFC last fall, creating an opening. Mousasi is coming off a unanimous decision win over Ovince St. Preux last month, and Kyle beat Marcos Rogerio de Lima in September.
It’s possible that the winner of the Mousasi-Kyle fight could be declared the promotion’s next light heavyweight champion, though Strikeforce has made no such announcement. Another fighter who was targeted for a potential elimination fight or title fight to fill the vacancy was Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, but he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs following his win earlier this month against Lorenz Larkin – a charge he has denied.
Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey is set for March 3 at Nationwide Arena. The main event currently features a women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Miesha Tate and unbeaten challenger Ronda Rousey.