Jacare Souza Submits Robbie Lawler to Retain Strikeforce Belt

Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza used a Brazilian jiu jitsu clinic in the second and third rounds of his title fight with Robbie Lawler Saturday night at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg, dominating the positional game in the second round and forcing Lawler to tap to a rear-naked choke in the third.

The victory was the most impressive of Jacare's MMA career, a fight in which he came back from getting badly hurt in the first round to completely control the second and third.

"My English is so bad -- I'm so sorry everybody," the Brazilian Jacare told the crowd, before adding, "I came prepared for everything."

A minute and a half into the first round, Jacare put Lawler on his back and got into side control, and that appeared to be trouble for Lawler. But Lawler managed to get to his feet and then wobble Jacare in a stand-up exchange. Eventually Lawler knocked Jacare flat on his back with a punch, but Lawler made a mistake and followed Jacare to the ground, where Jacare tied him up in his guard. With about 20 seconds left in the round referee Big John McCarthy surprisingly stood the two up, giving Lawler one last chance to land a hard liver kick, and that striking was probably enough to give Lawler the first round.





Early in the second round Jacare took Lawler down against the fence and got into mount, and from there he methodically controlled the rest of the way, staying in a dominant position on the top while Lawler looked like a fish out of water on his back against the Brazilian jiu jitsu superstar. About the only thing you can say for Lawler in the second round is that he did a nice job of escaping from two arm bar attempts in the final minute of the round, a round that Jacare clearly won.

At the start of the third round Jacare immediately went to the inside against Lawler, did some damage in the clinch and then secured another takedown against the fence. Again, Jacare was on the ground in an advantageous position, and all Lawler could do was play defense. But Lawler's defense wasn't enough, as Jacare took his back, put Lawler in a body triangle and then finished the fight with a choke.

The victory improves Jacare to 14-2, and the biggest question for him now is whether there's a middleweight in Strikeforce who can give him much of a fight. If there is, it's not Lawler, who fell to 18-7.

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