photo by Scott Peterson, MMAWeekly.com
Ronaldo Souza choked out Robbie Lawler in the third round and held his Strikeforce middleweight belt.
It was a good night for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in MMA as Souza was the second former BJJ world champion to win a fight with a rear naked choke on the night's card.
Souza determined where the fight took place and after surviving one scare on the feet in the first round, managed to keep the fight on the ground where the outcome was inevitable.
Souza took Lawler down quickly and got side mount about 1 minute and 15 seconds in. Souza threatened some arm attacks and tried out a variety of positions including an arm triangle and then a standing guillotine but Lawler got back to his feet. Jacare then tried to to slug it out with Lawler and quickly got put on his back. Jacare ate a knee and a punch before falling. Lawler then followed him down into Jacare's guard. That allowed Jacare to survive. Jacare was working for sweeps and controlling Lawler's posture until Ref John McCarthy stood them up. Lawler ate a body kick and Jacare shot in and took Lawler down again before the bell rang.
In the second, Jacare again grounded Lawler and took mount quickly. Lawler got half guard. Souza then went for an arm triangle but only held it briefly. Jacare got back to side mount, then north south. Lawler fought to escape but couldn't get out of bad positions as Souza worked ground and pound. Souza then went for a leg and used it to set up a nice spinning back fist on the ground. Jacare then got an arm and Lawler somehow escaped. Then Lawler escaped a second time and ended up on top. An exhausted looking Lawler didn't think to stand up before time expired.
Jacare took the Thai plum to open the second and landed a series of knees. Lawler replied with upper cuts and then Jacare went for a single leg, then a double and got Lawler down. Lawler fought to stand and ate a hard knee to the body. Jacare then took his back and Lawler had to fight for his life against a rear naked attempt while Souza held a figure four body lock. Souza then secured the choke and forced Lawler to tap.
Strikeforce middleweight champion Souza is a world BJJ champion and