On December 4th Matt “The Law” Lindland (22-7) looks to battle with “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (17-6) in what some are considering a must win bout for Lindland, at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu 2. A victory for Lindland would most likely propel him into the middleweight top 10 mix, and make him a definite title contender within the Strikeforce organization. However, a loss could push the 40-year-old fighter one step closer to retirement.
Lindland is 3-2 since 2008 and is coming off a TKO victory this past May against up and comer Kevin Casey (3-2) at Strikeforce Challengers series earlier this year. Prior to that victory, the Team Quest fighter suffered back-to-back losses in 2009 to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (13-2) and Vitor Belfort (19-8). Never taking the easy road, his upcoming bout with Robbie Lawler will be another difficult challenge.
On its face, Lindland’s game plan seems simple. He must employ his Olympic silver medal winning wrestling to control and ultimately defeat Lawler. Most believe that Lindland should follow the lead of fellow Team Quest middleweight Chael Sonnen and rely on his superior wrestling to lead him to victory.
Putting Lawler on his back will allow for Lindland to utilize his arsenal of submissions, or ground and pound his way to victory, in typical Matt Lindland fashion. Additionally, putting Lawler on his back places Lindland at very little risk since Lawler has only one win via submission.
The question is whether Lindland can take Lawler down and punish him. Lawler brings a set of explosive heavy hands, having won 14 of 17 victories by vicious KO or TKO. Should Lindland decide to stand and box with Lawler, Lawler will definitely have the advantage.
This fight is an interesting matchup. The winner will be the fighter who is able to impose his will and direct the fight to his strengths. If the bout turns into a boxing match, look for Lawler to violently drop Lindland similar to the way he finished Murilo “Ninja” Rua. If the fight makes its way to the ground, look for “The Law” to submit Lawler.
This is a must see fight consisting of two MMA veterans with contrasting styles looking to stay at the top of the middleweight division. The winner will be within grasp of a middleweight title shot, the loser will have a long road to travel. No matter the outcome, the fans will win.
Photo by: MMAMania.com