CBS Saturday Night Fights and Strikeforce mixed martial arts return to network primetime television with a world-class lineup featuring three title fights and five of the top MMA fighters in the world from their respective weight classes, on Saturday, April 17 (9:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.
The event will be broadcast live from the Sommet Center in Nashville , Tenn.
Dan Henderson (25-7-0), one of the most decorated fighters in MMA history, makes his Strikeforce debut in the evening’s main event against champion Jake Shields (24-4-1) as the two battle for the Strikeforce Middleweight Title. Both Shields and Henderson are ranked as two of the top five middleweights in the world.
This event also marks the first time Henderson, who left the UFC and signed a four-fight deal with Strikeforce in December 2009, will fight in front of a network primetime audience. A two-time United States Olympic wrestling team member (1992, 1996), Henderson is also the only fighter in the sport’s history to simultaneously hold two different titles in two different weight classes (welterweight and middleweight) for a major fight promotion (PRIDE Fighting Championships).
“We are excited about returning to CBS Primetime with a card featuring some of the top mixed martial arts fighters in the world, including three title fights and the Strikeforce debut of MMA legend, Dan Henderson,” said Scott Coker, Founder and CEO of Strikeforce. “CBS has shown a tremendous commitment to furthering the sport of MMA on network television and we appreciate the home they have given Strikeforce to deliver world class cards for MMA fans everywhere.”
In addition to the main event championship bout, the night will also include two additional championship title fights. Gegard Mousasi (27-2-1), arguably the sport’s top light heavyweight, will face undefeated King Mo (6-0) for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title. Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez (17-2-0) puts his lightweight title on the line against DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki (23-4-0) in the evening’s third title bout.