Bristol Marunde v Jacare Souza at Strikeforce

Bristol Marunde will fight the toughest opponent of his career in Ronaldo Jacare Souza, a decorated jiu-jitsu practitioner and former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion.  Bristol will face Jacare in the cage on March 3rd in Columbus, Ohio at Nationwide Arena.  The Vegas odds makers are undoubtedly favoring Jacare, who as a Strikeforce Middleweight Champion defended his title successfully against Robbie Lawler, who is one tough fighter himself.

Bristol Marunde v Jacare Souza Big Fight


Bristol Marunde v Jacare Souza – Any Bets?

Jacare also had victories over Tim Kennedy and Matt Lindland.  I’ve been watching Matt fight from ringside since he and Randy Couture promoted fights near Portland.  Matt was never a flashy fighter, but there was a time when he was an unbeatable grappler.  Everytime Matt submitted an opponent, I always wanted him to see him to leap around the cage, pound his chest, and scream something unpredictable.  But that wasn’t Matt.  Instead Matt Lindland would limber about the cage with those drooping shoulders and say something boring with a soft voice.  God bless Matt, but an entertainer he was not.  Matt has always been a fighter pure and simple.  Matt was one of the greatest submission grapplers in MMA.  Anyone in the business has deep respect for Matt.  But Jacare’s defeated Matt, and that was no small matter.

Bristol Marunde Strikeforce

Jacare will be one tough opponent for Bristol.  But here is the rest of the story few people know.  I have watched almost every battle Bristol Marunde has fought in cages and in rings from the beginning of his MMA career around the country.  I have driven him to the hospital after more than a few fights to get stitches from elbows and knees.  I know what this young fighter is capable of, and I can say without qualification that Marunde v. Souza will be one helluva fight.  Let me explain why.

Bristol Marunde

Marunde v. Souza

Bristol Marunde is one of the most dedicated and disciplined fighters in the U.S. today.  His recent victories over tough fighters exhibited his power, his technical finesse, and his mental toughness.  Bristol won the Superior Cage Combat middleweight title in a five round battle against Jay Silva recently, but the published narratives don’t tell the unvarnished story.  Jay Silva, a strong fighter with incredible striking power, had fought in the UFC, and many thought he would quickly teach Bristol a lesson.  O’ contraire.  In five punishing rounds, Bristol took Jay Silva back to basic training.  Bristol beat Jay striking, standing, on the mat, and Bristol picked Jay up multiple times and slammed him to the mat and then worked him over, pinning Jay to the mat and immobilizing him almost entirely.  See more photos from Marunde v. Silva.

Bristol fought Chuck “The Reverend” Grigsby who is 6′ 6″ and at the time had an impressive 19-6-0 record and was an M-1 champion. Chuck’s height and longer legs and substantially longer reach have intimidated many, and his powerful bombs have knocked out more than a few good fighters.  In an interview with Bristol before the fight, I asked him how he intended to win the fight. He said, “If Grigsby wants to go to the mat, I’ll beat him there. If he wants to stand up, I’ll beat him that way. I’ll beat him anyway he wants to fight. Doesn’t matter to me.” Bristol Marunde was true to his words. He beat The Reverend. Period.  See Marunde v. Grigsby.

Marunde and Souza will put on a good fight.  No doubt about that.  Their skills are surprisingly evenly matched, and they both have experience and heart.  One thing for sure about this MMA match.  It’s for real.  It’s nothing like pro wrestling.  And since they will face off in a cage with a locked door, there will be no escape until one man is left standing.

Get ready.  I am.  Watch for this fight on T.V. on March 3rd, 2012 on Strikeforce.  I’m not a betting man, but you can probably guess who I’d put all my money on.  My son.

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