A Strikeforce middleweight title bout between current champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Robbie Lawler is in the cards for the promotion’s Jan. 29 event in San Jose, Calif.
Multiple MMAWeekly.com sources confirmed that both camps have agreed to the bout, but are awaiting a final sign-off from Strikeforce and Showtime. The probability of the bout was first reported by MMAFighting.com on Saturday.
Souza won the then-vacant title in a battle with Tim Kennedy on Aug. 21 at Strikeforce: Houston. That victory was the latest in a three-fight winning streak for the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Judo black belt. He defeated Joey Villasenor and Matt Lindland to earn his chance at Strikeforce gold.
Lawler is coming off of a brutal first-round knockout of Lindland on Dec. 4 at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu. He has alternated wins and losses in his last five fights, also defeating the likes of Melvin Manhoef and Scott Smith, while losing to Renato “Babalu” Sobral and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields.
Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz is also expected to fight on the Jan. 29 Strikeforce fight card, as is former NFL great Herschel Walker.
MMAWeekly.com broke the news of Fedor Emelianenko’s return to the cage to face Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, but that bout is now likely to take place on an undetermined date and at an undetermined location sometime in February instead of the originally reported Jan. 29 date.
(Additional reporting by Damon Martin)