The following is from our live coverage of Strikeforce: Los Angeles. To access our full coverage, click here.
Robbie Lawler vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral
Round 1: Babalu landed a low kick early and went for a takedown, but Lawler was able to successfully defend it. Babalu pressed Lawler against the cage. Babalu landed a couple of knees but didn’t do much else, and both men were separated. Lawler came out aggressive and hit a flying knee, but Babalu pressed Lawler against the cage again. Lawler was able to break free and both men ended up back in the center of the cage. Babalu shot and got a takedown and went for a guillotine, but Lawler was able to shake it off and get back to his feet. Lawler went for another kick but Babalu caught him and took Lawler to the ground. Lawler back to his feet. Babalu landed another low kick. Babalu pressed Lawler against the cage again, but Lawler was able to break free. They had a quick exchange as the round came to an end. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Babalu.
Round 2: Lawler turned up the pace early and pegged Babalu with a few shots. Babalu went for a takedown and grabbed a leg of Lawler’s, but Lawler landed a couple of punches to get his leg free. Lawler continued to push the pace and tag Babalu. Babalu nailed Lawler with a kick and Lawler played possum, but Babalu saw through it. Babalu hit a high kick that grazed Lawler, but Babalu hit the canvas and got quickly back up to his feet. Babalu landed several more kicks and went for another takedown and managed to land a couple of knees. Lawler pegged Babalu with a jab, and Babalu managed to peg Lawler with a jab of his own. They traded right hands and Babalu landed a knee. The crowd started chaning for Babalu and they circled each other as the round ended. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Babalu.
Round 3: Babalu continued to land his leg kicks. Babalu went for a takedown but let it go when Lawler started landing some punches. Lawler landed a hard left hand uppercut. Lawler blocked a spinning backfist. Lawler hit a high leg kick. Babalu hit a body kick and a body shot. Lawler landed a nice combination and started chasing down Babalu. Lawler started to stalk Babalu, but Babalu was able to stay away from Lawler. Lawler landed a few punches as the round ended. FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Lawler.
Renato “Babalu” Sobral defeated Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (29-28 across the board).
After the bout, Babalu said Robbie Lawler was one of the toughest fighters that he’d ever fought. He credited Lawler for going up in weight to fight him at a catchweight.
With the victory, Babalu now finds him as the top contender for the Strikeforce light heavyweight title held by his friend, “King Mo” Muhammad Lawal. When asked if he would like to face King Mo for the title, Babalu pretty much said “No,” and said he would like a rematch with Dan Henderson from their fight 11 years ago when Hendo defeated Babalu.