The last time MMA fans saw Strikeforce‘s Light Heavyweight champion, Bobby Southworth, compete was less than two weeks ago. Unfortunately, it came in a disappointing loss to Anthony Ruiz due to a cut he sustained in the second round. Fortunately for Southworth, though, the fight was a non-title bout so he remained champion at 205 lbs.
In speaking with Southworth earlier today, I got the sense that the San Jose Native is just itching to prove his worth all over again. This seems to be old hat for the 37-year-old Southworth.
Almost seven years ago, he accepted a fight against Vitor Belfort for Pride in which he lost via rear naked choke in round one. He never received another chance to compete in a Pride ring again.
Then came his much-criticized appearance on the first season The Ultimate Fighter in which he struggled mightily (an understatement) to make weight for his first fight against Lodune Sincaid (a fight he would win) and was involved in a few incidents outside the gym with Chris Leben. Southworth had one chance to prove himself on a live UFC show (the TUF Finale in 2005) but after losing a decision to Sam Hoger he was never seen again in the Octagon.
Needless to say, Southworth has reinvented himself as the top Light Heavyweight in Strikeforce but he will undoubtedly be forced to prove himself all over again whether it’s in a rematch against Ruiz or against the promotion’s newest signee – Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
Below, Southworth disusses his fight against Ruiz, the possibility of facing Sobral and his tumultuous appearance on TUF.
Bobby Southworth – 11/28/07