Matt Lindland To Face Ronaldo "Jacaré" SouzaAnother solid fight has been added to the December 19th Strikeforce event, as UFC veteran Matt “The Law” Lindland will take on former DREAM star Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza in middleweight action. The bout will be part of the televised portion of the promotion’s year-end event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

Souza emerged as a top contender in the division with his run to the finals of the DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix last year and will look to put on another impressive performance when he meets the aging Lindland.

Lindland (21-6-0) was a mainstay in the UFC for nearly five years until his bizarre dismissal from the company due to alleged issues over an unapproved t-shirt sponsor.

Among his many notable career victories are wins over Ricardo “Big Dog” Almeida, “The New York Bad Ass” Phil Baroni (twice), “The Croatian Sensation” Pat Miletich, Ivan Salaverry, Falaniko Vitale, Travis “The Serial Killer” Lutter, Joe “El Dirte” Doerksen, Jeremy Horn and Carlos “The Ronin” Newton.

Needless to say, he has battled many of the sport’s best fighters during his nearly 13-year career, but Lindland has experienced ups and downs in recent bouts.

After losing to top-ranked heavyweight “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko, Lindland rebounded with a hard-fought but lacklustre decision win over Fabio Nascimento at the debut Affliction event, “Banned.” However, he was then brutally knocked out in just 37 seconds by Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort at Affliction: “Day of Reckoning” in January.

In need of a big win to prove that he is still a force to be reckoned with, the well-rounded Lindland will get his chance against the jiu-jitsu ace.


Souza (10-2-0, 1 NC) is widely regarded as one of the best submission fighters in all of MMA. His ground game is second to few and nine of his ten career victories have come by tapout.

He became an instant sensation in DREAM in 2008 with a submission of Ian Murphy and a well-deserved decision win over Jason “Mayhem” Miller to advance to the semi-finals of the DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix.

Following a lightning-fast triangle armbar of Zelg “Benkei” Galesić, Souza met fellow rising star Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi in the tournament finals, but was knocked out by a vicious upkick in the first round.

He most recently faced Miller a second time in a rematch for the vacated DREAM Middleweight Championship after Mousasi dropped the title to move up in weight. The fight ended in an unfortunate No Contest after Miller struck Souza with an illegal soccer kick that opened a fight-ending gash.


With both fighters looking to prove themselves – though for vastly different reasons – the bout between Lindland and Souza is an intriguing one, but the real question will be whether or not the veteran Lindland can overcome the incredible submission skills of his much younger opponent.

The Strikeforce event takes place on December 19th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.