A 195lb catchweight fight saw "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler take on Renato "Babalu" Sobral and lose via unanimous decision after three hard fought rounds.
Sobral worked for the take downs early but struggled to keep Lawler on the ground. Lawler then tagged Sobral repeatedly in between getting back up from take downs that Sobral couldn't maintain. Lawler looked for the counter punch, but Sobral only came in to clinch or shoot for a take down.
In the second round, Babalu scored with a body kick early. Sobral went for a single leg that Lawler stuffed while pounding his face with his free hand. Lawler tagged Sobral with hard shots as Babalu winged wild looping misses. Then Sobral landed a hard body shot that stunned Lawler then triggered a silly bout of possom playing. Lawler covered his flank after that but Sobral was slow to follow up. He then fired a high kick that did nothing and fell. Sobral followed up with more kicks to the body then Sobral clinched. From the Thai plum he landed a knee to the body. Lawler landed a nice jab that Sobral answered with his sharpest jab of the fight. The second round clearly went to the Brazilian.
Round three saw Sobral firing body kicks and working for the clinch. He went for a single but abandoned it quickly. Lawler landed a hook uppercut combo. Sobral circled away from Lawler but threw a spinning back fist at the midwesterner. Lawler landed a high kick. Sobral fired snap kicks to Lawler's solar plexus and a second. Lawler was hurt. But he answered with some very hard punches as Babalu backed away. Lawler seemed reenergized as the fight ended but failed to land a devastating shot. Incredibly close round.
Not sure where Lawler will figure but he deserves a crack at the Strikeforce Middleweight title tourney if it happens. Otherwise he needs a tune up fight to get back on track.
Babalu called out Dan Henderson for a rematch after brushing aside a potential title shot against his friend Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. If Babalu does cut down to 185lbs, I'd love to see him in the title tourney.