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Maggie Hendricks

Best dressed award and other notes from the Strikeforce:Houston press conference


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Strikeforce middleweight challenger Tim Kennedy showed the rest of the field how it's done at a press conference in Houston on Tuesday. From left, Bobby Lashley, Kennedy, "King Mo" Lawal and K.J. Noons were in town to hype up their fights in August.

Lashley still doesn't have an opponent for his fight on Aug. 21. Because of injuries, he hasn't fought since January, but he's happy with how he's grown as a fighter during that layoff.

"I think I've progressed well. The Bobby Lashley who fought my first fight is completely different from Bobby Lashley now," Lashley said. "I'm anxious to get back out there. I had a little setback and when I finally got cleared. I called (Strikeforce CEO Scott) Coker and begged him to be on this card."

Light heavyweight champion Lawal will defend his title for the first time against Rafael "Feljao" Cavalcante but said that just because he's the champ, it doesn't mean he's changing his mindset or preparation going into the fight.

"The approach doesn't change. Going into every fight, I feel like both a champion and a challenger because I challenge myself in training, but I'm always champion in my mind. So nothing is going to change for this fight," Lawal said.

Mr. Dapper, Tim Kennedy, is challenging Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza for the vacated middleweight belt. Though he has 14 fights under his belt, this is only the second bout that he'll have the benefit of full-time training. Previously, he had been splitting time between training and serving the Army.

"As your career progresses, every next fight is the most important one. After I beat Jacare and have the title, they're going to say 'Is this the most important fight of your career?' I take every single fight with extreme seriousness and I take Jacare very seriously. I don't know if he's my toughest opponent, but it's nice to be able to train full time, so this is going to be a tough fight for him."

These fights are going down on Aug. 21 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

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