Strikeforce Houston was one of the better cards that Strikeforce has offered the fans. The main event and co-main event were both title fights that on paper were sure to be very exciting fights. The main event was for the Light Heavyweight Championship with Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal defending his championship against challenger and number one contender Rafael Cavalcante.
Prior to the fight Lawal had stated in numerous interviews that he considered himself an underdog and indicated that Cavalcante was an excellent striker with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
The crowd was pumped when these two final made it to the cage. With Big John McCarthy shouting out “let’s get it on” the two fighters came out ready to do battle. Lawal came out with an early flurry but Cavanlcante seemed to be unfazed. Both fighters continued to appear to be feeling each other out. Lawal worked his way inside and was able to get one of his power slams but was not able to keep the fight on the ground, as Cavalcante was able to immediately stand up.
The first round went back and forth and no fighter doing any significant damage. At the start of the second round, Lawal looked to be a changed fighter. He looked to be more aggressive and really took the fight to Cavalcante. Lawal was able to take Cavalcante to the mat but again he was not able to keep the fight on the ground. Lawal did dominate the second round and appeared to be taking control of the fight.
When the bell rang to start the third round, Lawal came out and attempted to continue where he left off in the second round. Cavalcante, on the other hand, had a different idea. Cavalcante hurt Lawal with a knee that took Lawal’s legs away from him. He did not fall to the canvas but he was definitely rocked. As Lawal shot in for another take down he was again met with a knee and punches that hurt him bad.
Lawal was relentless in working for the take down and did not give up. As Lawal was working for double under hooks, Cavalcante continued to rain down hammer fists to the side of Lawal’s head. This proved to be more than Lawal could handle and Big John McCarthy stopped the fight.
Cavalcante shocked the world with his TKO stoppage over Lawal. After the fight, Lawal stated that this loss will only make him stronger. He stated that a true champion learns from defeat and he will go back to camp, make some adjustments and earn his title back. For now though, Lawal will be left with the taste of defeat in his mouth and wondering why tonight was not his night.
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