The winner of Wednesday’s “Strikeforce: Los Angeles” 195-pound catchweight main event between middleweight contender Robbie Lawler and former light heavyweight champ Renato “Babalu” Sobral will likely earn a title shot, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said Wednesday during a conference call to promote the Showtime-televised card.
“[Lawler-Sobral] is going to have a lot of implications,” Coker said. “If ‘Babalu’ wins and looks good, he will be first in line for a matchup against ‘King Mo’ (Muhammed Lawal). Robbie, if he wins the fight, will be first in line to have a title shot at 185 against ‘Jacare’ (Ronaldo Souza). Normally, we don’t put those fights out there, but I just wanted to let everyone know that this fight will have consequences.”
According to Coker, the promotion’s plans depend on whether free agent middleweight champ Jake Shields opts to sign with the UFC as expected or re-signs with Strikeforce, but should be set in the coming weeks.
“[A middleweight tournament] is still to be determined. It hasn’t been mapped out 100 percent, but we’ll probably have an announcement in the next 10 days or so,” Coker continued. “It depends on how things shake out with Jake (Shields). If we end up in a situation where we’re looking for a 185-pound champion, I think Jacare would be a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the slot.”
With a drop to middleweight likely in the near future, Sobral said he has little desire to fight Lawal and would prefer a fight with Dan Henderson or Gegard Mousasi.
“If the question is ‘are we looking for a fight with Mo,’ with all do respect, the answer is no because of our relationship with Mo,” Sobral’s manager, Richard Wilner, said. “If that’s the fight on the table because the fans are clamoring for it, then we’ll do what we have to do. If the question is ‘who do we want to fight,’ I could easily answer that question – and the answer is Dan Henderson and Gegard Mousasi.”
Pictured: Robbie Lawler