The following is an article from the official Strikeforce website:
`Giant’ Steps Towards “The Beast”
January 21, 2008
Michael Afromowitz [email protected]
Nearly 700 lbs. of human flesh will collide in the cage when 6’11” K-1 kickboxing star and undefeated professional boxer Jan “The Giant” Nortje (25-17) meets former University of Washington football standout and NFL lineman turned martial arts fighting sensation, Bob “The Beast” Sapp (8-2-1), in the main event of the “Strikeforce At The Dome” mixed martial arts event at Washington’s Tacoma Dome on Saturday, February 23rd.
Interestingly enough, the 32-year-old Nortje, who tips the scales at around 330 lbs, is a former training partner of Sapp. Nortje and his former training team were one of the first groups to help Sapp develop combat skills after The Beast entered the world of martial arts fighting in 2002.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Nortje. “I’ve always seen Bob get big opportunities so I think it’s my turn to show what I can do against him.”
Nortje is coming off a second round TKO victory over Dong Wook Kim. The matchup took place before over 17,000 fans at Japan’s Yokohama Arena on K-1’s “World GP 2007 Final” on December 8th.
A native of South Africa, Nortje relocated last year to Las Vegas, Nevada where he has been aggressively training with K-1 superstar and world kickboxing champion, Ray “Sugarfoot” Sefo. “It’s been a great experience so far. Ray is so knowledgeable in all areas of fighting,” Nortje said.
“Strikeforce At The Dome” is being presented by bodogFIGHT. Tickets for the event, priced at $150, $75 and $35, are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations (253-627-TIXS), the Tacoma Dome box office, Ticketmaster.com, and the official Strikeforce website, www.strikeforceusa.net.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion and K-1 North America king, Maurice “Big Mo” Smith (73-20-4), will battle fellow legend and six-time world kickboxing champion, Rick “The Jet” Roufus (57-7), in a featured heavyweight contest during “Strikeforce At The Dome,” which will feature 10 world-class, professional mixed martial arts bouts.
Doors at Tacoma Dome will open for the event at 7 PM PST and the first fight will begin at 8 PM PST. The event is being promoted by Strikeforce in conjunction with Brian Halquist Productions.