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‘Jacare’ Eyes Lawler, Strikeforce Title Defense Jan. 29

Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (Pictured) will defend his crown against Robbie Lawler on Jan. 29 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

Souza announced the bout at Jungle Fight 24 on Saturday at the Flamengo Rowing Club Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Souza has rattled off three consecutive victories since his Dream 9 bout with Jason “Mayhem” Miller ended in a no contest in May 2009. The 31-year-old judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt last appeared at Strikeforce “Houston” in August, when he defeated Tim Kennedy by unanimous decision and captured the middleweight crown that had been vacated by Jake Shields. A five-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion and 2005 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist, Souza has secured 10 of his 13 career MMA victories by submission.

A HIT Squad representative, Lawler knocked out 2000 Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland at Strikeforce “Henderson vs. Babalu 2” on Dec. 4. One of the sport’s heaviest hitters, the 28-year-old former EliteXC middleweight champion has delivered 15 of his 18 wins by knockout or technical knockout. Lawler’s list of victims includes Pride Fighting Championships veteran Murilo “Ninja” Rua, former Icon Sport middleweight titleholder Frank Trigg and Dutch destroyer Melvin Manhoef.
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