Breaking Down Lawler Vs. Babalu: A Great Fight No One Will Watch

Posted: June 15, 2010 in Marketing, Strikeforce

Tomorrow will mark the first-ever STRIKEFORCE event scheduled for mid-week (something they are proud of) and will take place in the midst of the E3 Expo, a trade show for computer and video games. During the Expo, EA SPORTS will exhibit its highly anticipated title, EA SPORTS MMA, in which STRIKEFORCE is featured as a premier league.  This combination of MMA and video games appears to be the perfect combination for marketers looking to get in front of males 18-30.  However, at first glance the only sponsor I truly see attaching themselves to the card is Rockstar Energy drink.  Let’s hope by fight night we notice a few more logos.  (See my previous post on UFC 115 for a list of successful advertisements.)

The card will feature two of my favorite fighters, hard-hitting “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and former STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral, at a catch weight bout at 195 pounds in the main event.   I know what you’re thinking another lame catch weight fight.  However, it was recently announced that this fight is more than just a pair of well known names, the folks over at STRIKEFORCE recently unveiled there would be championship ramifications for the winner.  Should Lawler win he’ll get a crack at the middleweight title, should Sobral win he’ll get a chance to regain the LHW crown.  This gives both fighters more of a push to finish the fight than pride or a potential fight of the night style bonus.  There is just one problem…this is not on CBS it will be on Showtime and therefore for an audience of 2.  Do you know anyone who has Showtime on their cable package? I sure don’t.

Let’s look at the fighters in question:

The Stats:
NAME: “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler*
FIGHTING OUT OF:  H.I.T. Squad – Granite City, IL
AGE:  27
MMA RECORD: 18-5-1

NAME:  Renato “BABALU” Sobral*
FIGHTING OUT OF: Gracie Barra Combat Team – Costa Mesa, CA
AGE:  34

My take on how this goes down: From a business standpoint, this will not be a highly watched card.  The lack of a title fight and the fact that it is on a cable network that few subscribe to, will result in this great match up falling to the way side of MMA history.

From the fight perspective, this is a classic striker vs. grappler main event.  Left on the feet this fight is all “Ruthless.”  Sobral has shown us in the past against fighters like Chuck Liddell and Jason Lambert if he goes in swinging he’ll wind up sleeping.  However, there are few fighters out there that are as skilled in the ground game as “Babalu.”  Should he score a take down, expect a fast and vicious submission.

*Stats available from


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