Randleman-Gracie Bout in Jeopardy


File Photo: Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com

A light heavyweight bout between Kevin Randleman and Roger Gracie scheduled for Strikeforce “Heavy Artillery” on May 15 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., is in jeopardy, Sherdog.com has learned.

“I’m sick and I think I might have a little bit of a staph infection,” an aggravated Randleman told Sherdog.com on Tuesday. “They might have to replace me.”

Randleman said his physician would tell him on Wednesday if he is healthy enough to fight in 11 days. The former UFC champion, who was hospitalized for a lung infection in 2006 and a staph infection in 2007 that required surgery, said the illness has made it difficult for him to train and eat.

The 38-year-old Pride Fighting Championships veteran trains in four gyms in Las Vegas, he said, but doesn’t blame the facilities for his current state.

“I’ve trained for Gracie for 14 weeks, and I might get taken out by some nasty a-- people who can’t wash their butts, their feet,” said Randleman. “I’m livid. I take six showers every day. I’m anal about cleanliness. I take a shower before I get into bed with my wife. If I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m sweaty, I take a shower.”

Randleman said that if he is forced to withdraw from the bout, he will also consider retirement. Still recognized as one of the most explosive athletes to ever enter the sport, the former Ohio State University wrestler has gone 1-2 since returning from his ailments to MMA in 2008.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told Sherdog.com late Tuesday that if Randleman is deemed unfit to fight next week, the promotion would look to find a replacement to face Gracie, the world-decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.

The 6-foot-4 Gracie is 2-0 in MMA. The 28-year-old fighter submitted UFC veteran Ron Waterman at a Bodog Fight event in December 2006 and longtime Pancrase star Yuki Kondo at a Sengoku event in May 2008.

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