Fresh off his impressive KO win over Matt Lindland, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler returned to the Strikeforce cage. This time the HIT Squad fighter contended for Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza’s middleweight title in the co-main event of the evening.
Lawler opened the round more animated than usual. After a short feeling out process, Lawler closed in with a small flurry but Jacare defended and pressed him to the cage. Jacare secured a takedown and controlled Lawler for a while. Lawler got back to his feet and rocked Jacare with a right hand and he followed the Brazilian down into his guard. The fighters were stood up with 20 seconds left and the round ended with a Jacare takedown.
Jacare secured a double leg takedown early in the second round and was able to control Lawler for nearly five minutes. Much to the pleasure of the crowd, Lawler was able survive an onslaught of strikes and submission attempts to finish the round on top.
Souza was aggressive early in the third with knee strikes from the clinch as Lawler countered to the body. The Strikeforce champion took Lawler down and took his back, securing a rear naked choke that forced his opponent to tap.
“I prepared for everything. I had a great coach and training partners. I feel great now,” Souza said after the fight. “I can’t wait to fight again.”
With the victory, Ronaldo Souza retained his middleweight title and remains undefeated in Strikeforce.