Six of the fighters who will compete on this Saturday’s stacked mixed martial arts event at Scottrade Center, including hard-hitting Brett “The Grim” Rogers, who will challenge STRIKEFORCE heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem in the STRIKEFORCE St. Louis: Heavy Artillery main event, participated in an open media workout Wednesday at Finney’s MMA.
The other fighters were “Smokin” Joey Villasenor, Antwain “The Juggernaut” Britt, Jesse Finney, Booker DeRousse and Francisco “Kiko” France.
The Overeem-Rogers matchup will headline a telecast on SHOWTIME® that begins at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). In other televised fights: Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski and Antonio “Big Foot” Silva will clash in a battle of former heavyweight champions, Villasenor will face “Jacare” Souza, Roger Gracie will take on Kevin “The Monster” Randleman in a light heavyweight scrap and Britt will be opposed by Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante at 205 pounds.
In the top non-televised fight, Finney will meet Justin DeMoney. In other undercard bouts, DeRousse throws down with Darryl Cobb at 185 pounds and France faces Lee Brousseau at 205 pounds.
Doors open Saturday at 6 o’clock. The first of 13 action-packed fights will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Selected quotes from five of the six fighters on Wednesday:
“I’ve worked very hard and I am ready to go. I’m in better shape than when I fought Fedor. I’m going to whoop some butt and can’t wait until Saturday.
“When Overeem makes a mistake, he is going to pay bigtime. Whether it comes from a right (hand) or a left, he is going to pay.
“I can’t help what others say about me; that’s their opinion. My job is to work hard and win fights and that’s what going down on Saturday.”
“This is a tough fight, but it’s great to be fighting again, getting nervous as the day approaches, remaining confident yet humble for what will be such a great experience. I’m excited for the challenge.
“This guy brings a lot of different techniques than most of the guys I’ve fought the last couple years. They’ve all been mostly standup fighters. This guy goes for submissions.
“I’ve been off, but I’m in the gym all the time. I don’t believe in ring rust. The fighting is the easy part. Psychologically, getting through the last few days before the fight is the toughest for me.”
“I am super excited and happy to be fighting for STRIKEFORCE on SHOWTIME and getting the chance to showcase my skills and win in impressive style on Saturday.
“I really think our fight is going to be the fight of the night. Feijao is a strong fighter, but he’s not strong like me.”
“This is going to be a tough fight and the biggest of my career. Cobb is a big stand-up, strictly Muay Thai guy but I’ll be looking to ground and pound him.
“Although my last fight was at a catch weight of 192, I’ve been fighting light heavyweight until now. I was a big 205-pounder, but now I’ll be a monstrous middleweight. I am really looking forward to my first fight at 185. At this weight I feel faster, just as strong and more limber.
“This is a huge challenge for me, but I want challenges and I am very excited about the opportunity even though I know it won’t be easy at all. I believe a good victory for me will put me in the picture to start fighting the very top guys STRIKEFORCE has at 185 pounds. I want a shot at the big dogs.”
“I truly feel that this fight card, from top to bottom, is the very best one STRIKEFORCE has ever done and I am very excited to be a part of it. All of us are in tough. There are no “gimmes” on the show.
“It’s great to be fighting in my hometown, but I’m fighting a fighter who’s 14-2. This is definitely the biggest challenge of my career, but this is why I started in this sport in the first place at such a late stage.
“I am really excited about Saturday. The fans are in store for a real treat and a great night of action.”