A rumored December 19 Strikeforce event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California was made official at Thursday’s “Fedor vs. Rogers” press conference, with Strikeforce’s Scott Coker announcing that the Showtime-televised “Evolution” event will feature Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza’s Strikeforce debut against fellow middleweight newcomer Matt Lindland as well as the debut of light heavyweight Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.
“Jacare” (10-2) advanced to the finals of DREAM’s middleweight grand prix last year with wins over Ian Murphy, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, and Zelg Galesic, but lost to Gegard Mousasi in the finals. Souza, a decorated grappler who won the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in 2004 and 2005, returned to action in May in a rematch with “Mayhem,” but the fight ended in a no contest.
Lindland (21-6) left the UFC in 2005 following back-to-back wins and has since gone 6-3, but has dropped two of his last three. After suffering a first-round submission to heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko in 2007, Lindland bounced back with a unanimous decision over Fabio Nascimento last July at Affliction’s debut event. In his most-recent fight, Lindland suffered a brutal 37-second knockout at the hands of Vitor Belfort in January.
“King Mo,” an All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State, has emerged as one of the sport’s top prospects since making his MMA debut last September, winning four-straight in Sengoku in Japan before making his US debut in August with a 25-second knockout of veteran Mark Kerr. An opponent has not yet been announced for Lawal’s Strikeforce debut.
Pictured: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza