Strikeforce CEO confirmed the bout with Sherdog.com on
Sobral, the promotion’s former light heavyweight champion, will
replace Jason “Mayhem” Miller, who was pulled from the card by the
promotion in light of his participation in a post-fight brawl which
occurred in the cage following Strikeforce “Nashville” on April 17
in Nashville, Tenn.
“Miller isn’t fighting because we believe, in speaking with the
Tennessee Athletic Commission, that he will put under some type of
suspension,” Coker told Sherdog.com on Thursday. “After reviewing
the tape (of the April 17 incident), we felt that Miller shouldn’t
headline our next event. We will honor the Tennessee commission’s
decision when it’s announced.”
Miller entered the cage on April 17 without the promotion or
commission’s knowledge to campaign for a rematch with Jake Shields,
who had just successfully defended his middleweight title against
Henderson. Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert
Melendez, welterweight champion Nick Diaz, UFC
lightweight Nate Diaz, and
others in Shields’ camp intervened in what quickly broke out into
an all-out brawl inside the cage. The live CBS telecast broadcasted
Miller, on the ground, taking punches and kicks from some member of
Shields’ Cesar Gracie
team before officials were able to pull them apart.
Tennessee Athletic Commission Director Jeff Mullen said on Thursday
that the incident was still under investigation. It was intonated
that any potential sanctioning process with the fighters involved
could take anywhere from one to two months to determine. Mullen
declined to give further comment.
Lawler, a former EliteXC middleweight champion, scored a gripping
first-round knockout over Dream striker Melvin
Manhoef at Strikeforce “Miami” on Jan. 30 in Miami. The
28-year-old Lawler holds victories over Scott Smith,
Murilo “Ninja” Rua and Frank Trigg.
Sobral was intended to enter Dream’s light heavyweight tournament
beginning on May 29 in Japan. However, Sherdog.com reported on
Thursday that the eight-man grand prix has been scratched by the
promotion. The 34-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has not
competed since losing his title to Gerard Mousasi at a Strikeforce
event last August. Sobral is a 10-time UFC veteran.