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Kevin Randleman Turns Down Strikeforce Fight Against 'Feijao'

Strikeforce suffered a tough break when current light heavyweight champion Renato "Babalu" Sobral pulled out of his June 6 title defense against Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante earlier this week. Sobral's wife is scheduled to give birth at the end of May and he reportedly felt like the fight was too close to her due date.

As a result, Cavalcante (7-1), a former EliteXC fighter who trains with Anderson Silva, was left without an opponent.

FanHouse has learned that the newest member of Strikeforce's light heavyweight division, Kevin Randleman (17-12), was offered to replace Sobral against Cavalcante, but the former UFC heavyweight champion turned down the fight. No specific reason was given.

When Randleman was a guest on ESPN Radio 1100's post-fight show in San Jose following the latest Strikeforce event, I asked him if he was interested in fighting Cavalcante at some point. He simply replied, "Who?" Randleman went on to say that he had never heard of the Brazilian fighter. Perhaps that has something to do with his decision.

"Now that I'm here, understand this – it comes from the heart," Randleman said at the Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz post-fight press conference two weeks ago, "I'll fight anybody, anywhere. When Scott (Coker) says it's time to get down and dirty, understand this: I'm not coming to lose, and I'm not coming to back up."

Apparently "anybody, anywhere" has some restrictions.

The 37-year-old Randleman (17-12) is looking to make somewhat of an MMA comeback. He returned to action last May, defeating Ryo Kawamura via unanimous decision at Sengoku II, following a year-and-a-half hiatus from the sport. If the highlight of his career was his shocking knockout of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic at PRIDE Total Elimination 2004, then the low point of his twelve-year career was submitting a fake urine sample following his loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at PRIDE 32 in October 2006. Randleman later apologized for it and said that he had to take painkillers and antibiotics for a lung infection he suffered prior to the fight and knew they were banned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The NSAC subsequently suspended Randleman, but he has since been cleared to fight in the State of Nevada.

In January 2007, Randleman was hospitalized for severe kidney problems. Seven months later, he was arrested for DUI in Goodsprings, Nev.

A former two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion at Ohio State University, Randleman defeated Pete Williams at UFC 23 to capture the UFC heavyweight title, but after one successful title defense against Pedro Rizzo, he lost the belt to Randy Couture at UFC 28.

Cavalcante was a perfect 3-0 while fighting for EliteXC, finishing all his opponents in the first round. As of now, there is no word on who, if anyone, he or Randleman will fight come June 6.