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Strikeforce Announces Title Challengers While Prepping For Potential Shields Departure

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Robbie Lawler will be squaring off against Renato "Babalu" Sobral next week on June 16th.  While no title will be on the line in the catch weight bout, a future title shot will be going to the winner of that fight according to Scott Coker:

"That fight's going to have a lot of implications," said Coker. "I think that fight, the winner, if Babalu looks good and wins the fight, I think he will be first in line for a match-up (with) King Mo.

"I think Robbie, if he wins the fight, he'll be first in line to have a title shot at 185 against Jacare."

Of course Lawler usually fights as a middleweight and Sobral as a light heavyweight.  The interesting thing is that Coker is basically saying that Shields is on his way to the UFC since they are already naming Lawler's opponent should he win in regards to crowning a new Strikeforce middleweight champion.  Lawler, the former champion, was defeated by Jake Shields via guillotine choke in the first round last year. 

Sobral is the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, but got obliterated in the first round by Gegard Mousasi last year to lose the title.  However, Mousasi failed to defend the strap even once, bowing out to King Mo Lawal earlier this year via unanimous decision.  So now it appears that the starts could potentially line up for Sobral once more if he's able to defeat Lawler next week. 

I personally like the Lawler/Jacare fight if Shields departs from Strikeforce.  However, I just can't see how Babalu would have earned a shot at the title with a win over a guy that usually fights as a middleweight.  Especially considering he got destroyed by Mousasi the way he did, but I suppose that's come to be expected with the way Strikeforce does things.

HT: MMAWeekly

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