Punch Drunk Preview: Strikeforce Los Angeles

Marius Zaromskis (13-4-0) vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (17-13-0)

While Santos’ record is remarkably close to Kevin Randleman territory, the male “Cyborg” is a much more dangerous opponent at this stage of life than “The Monster,” and Zaromskis will need to be careful.

All the pressure in this contest is on Zaromskis, the DREAM Welterweight Grand Prix winner who was last seen losing a welterweight title fight to Nick Diaz in Miami. A second consecutive loss under the Strikeforce banner would put him in limbo, too talented to get cut, but too many losses to be a marketable name.

When you add the Chute Boxe / crazy factor Santos brings to the table, this could be a firefight from the opening bell… and one that doesn’t make it to the end of the first round.

Robbie Lawler (17-5-0, 1 NC) vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral (35-8-0)

Title implications and catchweight silliness aside, I like this fight. It’s a battle of opposing styles that has the chance to showcase both fighters’ strengths and weaknesses all at once.

Sobral brings a great submission fighting game to the table, but he’s also cocky enough to spend some time standing in opposite Lawler. On the other hand, Lawler brings the lethal hands that dropped Melvin Manhoef last time out, but also enough of a wrestling pedigree that he might take a chance or two on the ground with Sobral.

Conventional wisdom leads me to favor “Babalu” because he’s the bigger of the two – Lawler is really a beefed up welterweight – but watching Manhoef fall from the first right Lawler landed is the great equalizer. Sobral could be doing everything right and then WHAM! Night-night.

This one, like the rest of the main card, should be entertaining. Now how it entitles the winner to a title shot is another story altogether…

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