By Alexia Krause
With Strikeforce Live less than a week away, the heat is getting turned up for a showdown between two hard-hitting opponents. "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler will take on former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato "Babalu" Sobral for a fight that is bound to go beyond the cage and strike at the hearts of the two fighters.
In fact, Sobral was quoted as saying that he has "hate in his heart" leading up to the fight and his trainer is making it clear that his hate will be taken out in the ring against Lawler. This type of bad blood will make the upcoming Strikeforce Live an MMA event to remember. The two will face off in a 195-pound catch-weight bout Wednesday at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
This is an interesting turn of events, as Sobral wasn't initially slated to fight Lawler. The main card had originally been Jason "Mayhem" Miller vs. "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler, but after being rebuked by Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, Mayhem was later pulled from the card. Miller is under review for a possible suspension due to the brawl that had broken out following a post-fight interview with Jake Shields at Strikeforce Nashville.
The L.A. Strikeforce event will be the first to be scheduled during the middle of the week (in order to correspond with the video game expo, E3, and the subsequent release of EA Sports MMA). Most fans are going to the event to see the main fight between Sobral and Lawler. The main card is bound to set the tone for the evening and possibly the rest of Strikeforce MMA.
Lawler is considered by most to be somewhat of a quiet figure outside of the ring, but once inside the cage he's as merciless as his nickname. Lawler is known for completely annihilating his opponents by means of his all-or-nothing fighting style. This type of intensity will be a large part of his upcoming fight. This 5-foot-11 middleweight is a reckless fighter inside the cage, and his fans love him for exactly that reason.
Sobral, on the other hand, is a complete technician within the squared circle. Widely known for his amazing grappling and submission moves, Babalu doesn't need to be ruthless in order to dominate. Sobral's style has helped him rack up victories over such fighters as Kiyoshi Tamura, Mauricio Rua, and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou on his way to becoming the light heavyweight champion. It has also made him one of the hardest fighters to defeat in all of Strikeforce MMA.
Many fans seem to think that if Lawler can keep the fight on his feet, he will have the advantage. Lawler has a history of being smart on his feet, throwing calculated punches. However, if the fight shifts toward more grappling, and Sobral is careful, he could use his superior BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) skills to his advantage. Over half of Sobral's wins have resulted from his masterful use of submission fighting.
Other matches for the evening feature Marius Zaromskis vs.
Evangelista Cyborg and Trevor Prangley vs. Tim Kennedy. Both fights are bound
to have their fair share of attention at the event, but nothing will compare to
when ruthlessness meets technical dominance in Lawler/Sobral. Then we shall
see exactly how much hate is flowing through the veins of these two fighters at
Krause is a self-described sports nut who particularly enjoys martial
arts. Alexia has been blogging about the latest trends in MMA
equipment for the past few years,
and continues to provide the latest news in the MMA universe.