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Babalu Not Motivated by Belts Anymore; Plans to Move to Different Weight Classes to Pursue Challenging Fights

(Belts? We don’t need no stinking belts.)

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker mentioned in an interview this week that the winner of the December 4 light heavyweight bout between Dan Henderson and Renato Sobral will likely be next in line for a shot at the promotion’s 205-pound titleholder, Rafael Cavalcante.

Coker’s revelation seems a bit questionable considering Sobral, who defeated Robbie Lawler at a 195-pound catchweight in his last bout hasn’t fought at 205 for the promotion since losing his title to Gegard Mousasi in 2009 and Henderson, who lost to Jake Shields in a title bout in his Strikeforce debut hasn’t fought under the SF banner at that weight at all.

Regardless of whether or not he beats Henderson or earns a shot at his old belt, Babalu says he may not stick around at light heavyweight for long, revealing that he wants to go wherever there are challenging fights.

"I’m looking for challenges now. Belts don’t mean as much to me any more. I want good match-ups. That’s what keeps me motivated to fight. I’d like to fight maybe at heavyweight. It depends. It all depends on the opponents. If you give me good match-ups, I’ll fight at any weight," Babalu tells "I can go up and I can go down. If it’s a good bout for me and I say I want to fight that guy, I’ll move to the weight they’re at. I don’t have any preference. It’s not about weight classes; it’s about fighters."

Having lobbied for the rematch with Henderson, Sobral says he wanted the fight because it excited him and he knew he would be motivated to train for the bout to the best of his ability. He says that he got into a rut for a while, as a fighter that he never wants to get into again as it affected his preparations and his will to compete.

"Before, I would have opponents who weren’t challenging to me and it was tough to stay focused and interested in those fights. I want to fight. I want to fight because I’m right here in the situation where I need the motivation and I’m motivated by good challenges," Sobral explains. "Dan Henderson is one of the biggest challenges ever that I could have. He’s a really good opponent and I need to be ready for him. That’s exciting for me and it should be exciting for the fans."

Another rematch that would excite Sobral would be one with Fedor Emelianenko, whom he lost to by unanimous decision in 2001 in Rings.

When asked about whether he had Emelianenko on his mind when he decided to follow the lead of his friend and training partner, Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal in becoming a moneyweight fighter, Sobral didn’t hesitate in answering.

"Hell yeah! For sure!"

Cagepotato Comments

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Zombie Cage Fighter- November 6, 2010 at 7:40 pm
Whenever I see a photograph of Babalu, I immediately picture him covered in David Heath's blood, crunching down with an anaconda choke moments after Heath has already tapped.
Jonny5- November 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm
the sick thing is that Babalu goes through Hendo who is still top ten MW in the world IMO why wouldn't Strikeforce give him that matchup if there not going to give Fedor(M1) instant rematch at Werdum for HW strap on his last contracted fight. the bummer here is that I can't imagine Fedor showing up with Babalus old mugshot t-shirt type diss.....
Elentius- November 5, 2010 at 2:31 pm
I say that when I can't win any belts anymore as well.
ccman- November 5, 2010 at 12:22 pm
Translation : I can not win a belt anyway so might as well look for money fights to lose now.
Shatski- November 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm
Maybe he doesn't give a shit about belts because he's in Strikeforce. Diaz just said he doesn't care about being champ, Shields walked away from his making it seem like a consolation prize, the light heavy belt changes hands every fight, so that must mean there's a new "top" guy every time, and Overeem has defended his once in recent time against someone coming off of a loss.

Belts don't mean shit if it's not the top competition fighting for them.

Same happens in the UFC, too, just with a lot less frequency. Look at the middleweight championship fights last year.
Stak40- November 5, 2010 at 11:19 am
I kind of dont give a fuck what weight you fight at. I kind of dont give a fuck whether you win or have a belt. I just want to see mothafuckas go into the cage and FIGHT. Whether its standup or on the ground or in a clinch, i could care less as long as you in there trying to FINISH the fight.
manutdfan- November 5, 2010 at 11:17 am
I'm just happy to see Renato excited to fight again.
Goog- November 5, 2010 at 10:58 am
@ moonbelly

Yes, I was. I bitch about everything.
Fedor Penn- November 5, 2010 at 10:49 am
Having to root against Babalu in his next fight is gonna suck!
MoonBelly- November 5, 2010 at 10:39 am
Who's to say what their "natural" fighting weight is? Sanchez and Florian were on TUF as 185ers. Diaz is the sickliest looking mofo when he's at 155.
What about guys like Alves and Anthony Johnson who are having trouble making weight now? You weren't bitching when Randy was scooping up belts in 2 weight classes were you?
They're the ones putting their bodies on the line. I say let them fight wherever they want.
Goog- November 5, 2010 at 9:57 am
Is it just me, or is weight class issue getting a bit boxing? Er... I mean... boring?

Pick a fucking size and go with it until we're tired of paying to see it. It just seems this year more than ever we've seen fighters fight here, fight there... and lose, so go back here... It used to be interesting to think about certain fighters stepping up or down for a certain matchup. Now the popular thing seems to be [temporarily] dropping a class after a loss. Yes, there are a few "superfights" that require catchweights or a step up or down, but if your name's not St Pierre or Silva, stay the fuck put until you figure out why you can't beat guys your own natural size. You listening, Diaz? That make any fucking sense, Penn? Diego Sanchez... you with me, amigo?
DazedNConfused- November 5, 2010 at 9:33 am
meh, get to the back of the bus, Fedor's management is too busy ducking everyone else to get to you yet.
BONGTAR- November 5, 2010 at 9:25 am
now i don't normally do this but uh..........first.

I'm not ghey.