Max Martyniouk: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Three new bouts have been added to Strikeforce “Henderson vs. Babalu,” which will take place on Dec. 4 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
All four pupils who participated in the Sherdog/EA Sports MMA fighter exchange will compete on the event’s undercard. Fernando Bettega, Wayne Phillips, Max Martyniouk and Patrick Durkin Cumminswill put their newly developed skills to the test on Dec. 4. Martyniouk and Cummins will take on Justin Lawrence and Terrell Brown, respectively, while Bettega and Phillips will fight each other.
Additionally, local welterweight Jesse Finney will again enter the Strikeforce cage, taking on a to-be-named opponent. Strikeforce officials announced the matchups Wednesday morning via press release.
Bettega, who trained with Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza during the fighter exchange, is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Craig Wilkerson in September. The Brazilian will be making his promotional debut. His biggest win to date came at the expense of Manuel Otero at an EliteXC event in 2008.
Bettega faces American Kickboxing Academy product Wayne Phillips, who defeated Eric Lawson by first-round armbar at Challengers 6 in February. Phillips voyaged to Japan with AKA teammate Luke Rockhold, training at Pride Fighting Championships veteran Hidehiko Yoshida’s judo-centric Yoshida Dojo for the exchange.
Studying under Dream light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi during the program, Martyniouk will be making his professional debut at “Henderson vs. Babalu.” He will square off against a fellow newcomer in Lawrence. Both men enter the cage with a background in amateur boxing.
Cummins, who journeyed to Brazil with mentor Jason "Mayhem" Miller for the exchange, will step into his first pro MMA fight with collegiate wrestling credentials backing his bid in the cage. Brown is undefeated in two pro fights and will be making his Strikeforce debut against Cummins.
Finney has fought exclusively in his hometown of St. Louis over his three-year MMA career. Though undefeated in two Strikeforce outings, Finney was most recently submitted by UFC vet Josh Neer in August.
Headlining the event is the titular light heavyweight matchup between former Pride Fighting Championships two-division titleholder Dan Henderson and one-time UFC light heavyweight contender Renato "Babalu" Sobral.
Also featured will be a welterweight scrap between heavy-handed Scott Smith and the equally dynamic Paul Daley. A middleweight tilt between Robbie Lawler and Matt Lindland will also go down, as well as a pair of heavyweight matchups in Antonio Silva vs. Valentijn Overeem and Herschel Walker vs. Scott Carson, respectively.
This item was updated at 2:30 a.m. ET to correct information on Wayne Phillips.