Jacare Souza vs Tim Kennedy: A start of a new era, or an unworthy Title fight?Posted on July 12, 2010, 10:05 AM by Daniel Cassidy
Despite the rumblings of a possible Strikeforce Middleweight tournament, company CEO Scott Coker recently announced they had instead decided to set up a fight for the Belt between Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza and Tim Kennedy. Both fighters interestingly have a record of 12-2, but come from totally different backgrounds.
A black belt in both Jiu Jitsu and Judo, Jacare is also a mutli time finalist and winner of the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship. He is also a winner of the BJJ World Cup, and the CBJJ World Championships. Born in Brazil, Jacare (alligator in Portuguese) started training in both Judo and BJJ at the age of just 17. He obtained his black belt in BJJ aged just 24. Despite losing his MMA debut to Jorge Patino, Jacare went on to win his next 10 fights, before being stopped by an upkick from Gegard Mousasi. In all of his fights, his Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu backgrounds show through, with many fighters uneasy about going to ground with him, and has finished most of his fights by submission.
Tim Kennedy's background could not be more different from his upcoming opponent. Originally from San Luis, California. He attended Columbia College of Missouri earning a BA in Criminal Justice, and graduated in 2002. Once finishing college, Kennedy enrolled in the US Army. He joined Special Forces in 2004. During his time in the army, he entered many hand to hand combat tournaments, and became well known for his skills. On several occasions he was deployed to Iraq, and was awarded the Bronze Star medal, which was received for valor under fire. Currently he trains alongside Chuck Liddel and former Middleweight Champ Jake Shields at "The Pit" in San Luis. Kennedy is well known for his heavy hands, due to his boxing background. His only losses are to Scott Smith(due to a cut) and Jason Miller via unanimous decision.
Despite Cokers original intentions of a Middleweight bout, it seems these two could both easily have starred in the final. Both are exceptional fighters, from different backgrounds, who bring different things to the fight. Both also own great pro records, and are almost certainly head and shoulders above the like of Cung Le, Mayhem Miller(both fighters have a winner over him) and Robbie Lawler, almost deeming a tournament unnecessary.
Kennedy and Jacare also bring something different to the table compared to former Champ Jake Shields. While Shields was known for his wrestling skills, and being able to shut fighters down, Kennedy is more than capable of dealing with most fighters on their feet, While Jacare is one guy who's guard you don't want to find yourself in. When both fighters collide in August, where the fight takes place will determine the winner. Should Kennedy be able to keep it standing, Jacare will be in trouble dealing with the hands of the former soldier. Where as should Jacare be able to take the fight to the mat, it will be difficult to doubt the credentials of such a well accomplished grappler.
Strikeforce: Houston will take place August 21, 2010 at Toyota Center in Houston. Jacare vs Kennedy is expected to act as the Co-main event.