by Steven Marrocco – MMAWeekly.com
Strikeforce is headed home for the holidays.
As first reported by MMAWeekly.com, the promotion has slated its next major Showtime card for Dec. 19 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Two bouts have so far been confirmed for the year-end event.
A long rumored bout between middleweights Matt Lindland and Ronaldo “Jacare” de Souza will grace the event’s main card, and Sengoku veteran Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal will make his Strikeforce debut against an unnamed opponent.
The match-ups were confirmed by Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker via MMAJunkie and subsequently confirmed Thursday by Strikeforce Communications Director Mike Afromowitz.
Afromowitz said a headliner is still in the works for the December event.
Lindland (27-6) in August signed a three-fight deal with the promotion following the end of Affliction’s fight promotion business. The Olympic silver medalist fared roughly in a January appearance for the defunct promotion, suffering a brutal knockout at the hands of Vitor Belfort, who later signed with the UFC, his former home.
Since his contentious release from the UFC in 2005, Lindland has surfed the free agent waters, going 4-3 in a series of start-up promotions that unanimously folded.
De Souza (13-2-1) signed with Strikeforce in tandem with Lindland after a five-fight stint in Dream that ended on a sour note after a no contest against Jason “Mayhem” Miller in May and a knockout loss to middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi last September.
Prior to that, the 2005 Abu Dhabi submission champ had been unbeaten in four years of competition.
Lawal (5-0) found success overseas in the Japanese promotion Sengoku after a decorated collegiate wrestling career. The former NCAA Division II champion was in the running to face Gegard Mousasi at this weekend’s “Fedor vs. Rogers” card in suburban Chicago, but elected to make his debut in December.