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Ronaldo Souza set for first title-defense against Robbie Lawler on January 29

A classic clash of styles appears set to take place next month, as Strikeforce middleweight champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will do his best to ensnare heavy-handed striker Robbie Lawler in one of his BJJ-based traps at the promotion’s upcoming show in San Jose.

News of the expected pairing, as well as the title’s involvement at the show, was first reported by Tatame. Souza also announced the bout at a local event in Brazil over the weekend.

Lawler is coming off a fifty-second flattening of Matt Lindland two weeks ago in St. Louis at “Strikeforce – Henderson vs. Babalu II”. He is 7-1 in his last eight fights at 185 pounds with a catch-weight loss to Renato Sobral earlier this year also in the mix. “Ruthless” Robbie has rendered the majority of his opponents defenseless by way of strikes with fifteen TKOs in eighteen total victories, but has struggled against high-level grapplers on the ground making his match-up with Souza particularly intriguing due to the middleweight champion’s world-class skill on the mat.

While the 13-2 “Jacare” certainly showed improved stand-up in his title-winning performance against Tim Kennedy this past August at “Strikeforce – Houston”, there’s no question his bread is buttered in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as he owes ten of his thirteen MMA wins to the art of tapping opponents out. The decorated submission-grappler has won three consecutive fights after previously being knocked out by a perfectly timed upkick from Gegard Mousasi in September 2008 (with a cut-shortened “No Contest” to Jason Miller in his follow-up to the defeat).

Though the January 29 event has yet to be officially announced, a number of rumored participants have already been attached to the card including Miller, Kennedy, Nick Diaz, and Herschel Walker.


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