In a highly competitive headline bout at Strikeforce: Los Angeles Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral picked up a unanimous decision win over Robbie Lawler.
The first round was close with Sobral looking cautious and staying an elusive target while Lawler appearing happy to bide his time and wait for the perfect moment to land with his heavy hands. Two brief takedowns were perhaps enough for Sobral to secure the round, though to his credit Lawler managed to get back to his feet quickly.
In the second round Sobral began to settle in and found a home for his kicks throughout the five minute period, peppering Lawler to the leg, body and head.
The momentum changed in the third round though as Lawler began to push the pace and went hunting for the knockout blow. That forced Sobral into defensive mode, and he did a good job of using movement to steer clear from the worst of the onslaught while doing just enough to keep Lawler at bay until the final bell.
In the end it was a close fight, but Sobral did enough to secure all three judges scorecards in his favor 29-28.
Before the fight Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker had been talking up a Sobral Vs King Mo title fight if he emerged victorious, but afterwards Babalu reiterated that he did not want to fight his friend and team-mate ‘King Mo’.
He did however offer up an alternative, saying that he would like the opportunity to avenge a previous defeat to Dan Henderson dating back to 2000. On that occasion he lost by majority decision, the first loss of his career after going twelve fights unbeaten.
It remains to be seen if Scott Coker will be amenable to such a fight taking place or if he has other plans for the two fighters.