by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Strikeforce may have solidified two new top contenders at Heavy Artillery on Saturday night with Ronald “Jacare” De Souza and Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante getting wins, while also welcoming the newest member of a legendary family to the fold.
While the world and Strikeforce wait to see what middleweight champion Jake Shields’ next move will be, Ronaldo “Jacare” De Souza made his case for the next shot at the 185lb title with a win over Joey Villasenor on Saturday night.
Known as one of the best grapplers in all of MMA, Jacare showed extremely strong wrestling by taking Villasenor down multiple times during the fight, while working for punches a few submissions. To Villasenor’s credit he used his wealth of experience to get up from the bottom and stay out of any real trouble on the ground.
As the fight wore on, Villasenor gained confidence in his ability to land punches on the Brazilian, and he managed to open a cut and bust up Jacare’s nose as well. The takedowns and ground work were simply too much in the end as Jacare kept pushing forward to get the fight on the mat, and he picked up a unanimous decision win for his efforts.
Now, Jacare will have to wait for Shields’ decision and then the hunt for a middleweight title shot can begin for the Brazilian grappling wonder.
He made the family proud on Saturday night as Roger Gracie kept his perfect record in tact with a second round submission over Kevin Randleman.
There was no doubt looking at the first round of the fight that Gracie was still a project at work with his stand-up, but in the 2nd round he connected with a knee flush to Randleman’s head.
As Randleman dropped, it was like Christmas morning for the former Abu Dhabi grappling champion as he quickly worked his ground game, transitioning positions and eventually sinking in a rear naked choke. Randleman had no choice but to tap out, and Gracie gets his third professional win. Having possibly the most legendary last name in all of MMA, Roger is happy to represent the first family of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
“Every Gracie that step in the ring, it means a lot for the family, we’re here to represent them,” said Gracie after the win.
It was a back and forth battle early, but eventually Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante put away Antwain Britt, and he put him away with a brutal knockout.
The fighters were both comfortable trading punches to open the fight, and Britt seemed to be getting the better of Feijao with a few stiff combinations. A training partner of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Feijao obviously understands how to withstand pressure under fire and he fired back with some power of his own.
Catching Britt with a big right hook, Feijao followed up with a swarm of punches as his opponent eventually dropped to the canvas as the referee literally jumped into the fray for the save. Feijao now solidifies his place as a top contender in the light heavyweight division where “King Mo” Lawal wears the crown.