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Strikeforce Live Blog: Jacare Souza vs. Robbie Lawler Updates

<! mediaid=3831002 Jeff Chiu, AP: img vspace="4" hspace="4" border="1" align="right" src="" alt="" />SAN JOSE – This is the Strikeforce live blog for Jacare Souza vs. Robbie Lawler, a middleweight championship bout on tonight's Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg event from the HP Pavilion.

Souza (13-2), who won the title by beating Tim Kennedy, is making his first title defense. Lawler (20-6) last month scored a 50-second knockout over Matt Lindland.

The live blog is below.

Round 1: They meet in the center of the cage and it's nothing but feints from both men for the first forty-five seconds. The crowd does not care for this, and eventually Lawler jumps in with a kick and then a punch combo. Jacare clinches and gets him to the fence, then puts Lawler on his back in a hurry. Jacare moves to side control, then north-south, then back to side control. Lawler is just covering up and defending against the short punches. Lawler scrambles to his feet and nearly gets caught in a guillotine, but escapes. Jacare gets bold on the feet with a big right, but Lawler comes back with a jumping knee and a short right that clips Jacare. He's on shaky legs. Lawler goes on the attack with a high kick and an uppercut and Jacare is down. Lawler follows him down and gets stuck in the guard. Big John restarts them in the final minute, and both men throw big before the bell. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 for Lawler.

Round 2: They start the second a little cautiously, but it's not long before Jacare gets Lawler down against the fence. Lawler has him in half-guard, though he can't do much about the punches coming down on him from the top. Jacare passes to side control, then north-south. Again, Lawler seems to be content to cover up and look for his moment to scramble. Jacare is turning up the heat with the strikes and Lawler tries to recover guard, but he only ends up taking more punishment. Jacare thinks about a footlock, then rolls for one armbar after another. Several times the submission looks close, but Lawler defends well and just keeps surviving, even ending the round on top in Jacare's guard, though looking a tad weary. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Jacare.

Round 3: Jacare locks up the clinch right away and unleashes a series of knees to Lawler's head before transitioning to a takedown attempt. Lawler defends well initially, but Jacare keeps after him and eventually works him onto his back. Lawler works back to his feet but gives up his back in the process. A slick little foot sweep from Jacare sits Lawler down, and from there the Brazilian sinks his hooks and it's only a matter of time until the rear naked choke gets tight enough to force Lawler to tap. Even Lawler seems to regard it as a foregone conclusion. After a brief, but ferocious offensive explosion in the first, the end comes meekly for Lawler.

Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza def. Robbie Lawler via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:00 of round 3

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