(Props: MMA Fighting.)
It’s been nine months since Renato “Babalu” Sobral lost the Strikeforce light heavyweight title via short-and-sweet first round TKO to Gegard Mousasi last August. If you think that sounds like a lot of time to sit at home ruminating on the defeat, you’re right. Babalu is understandably pumped at the opportunity to step in for training partner Jason “Mayhem” Miller against Robbie Lawler next month and expresses some frustration to Ariel Helwani in the above video that it’s taken so long to get back in the cage.
Also interesting to note, Babalu seems to direct his annoyance at Showtime, not Strikeforce itself, so that should further stoke debate about who’s really wearing the pants in the fight company’s relationship with the premium cable channel. An excerpt from the interview after the jump.
At about the 3:00 mark:
Sobral was tabbed to take over for Mayhem while he awaits word from the Tennessee Athletic Commission about a possible suspension stemming from the post-fight brawl at Strikeforce: Nashville on April 17. The bout with Lawler will be contested at a catchweight of 195-pounds and Sobral indicates to Helwani that making weight this time around could be a trial run for making the move to middleweight.
Sobral says he talked it over with his doctor – you hear that, MMA fighters? – and decided it wouldn’t be a good idea to try to cut all the way down to 185-pounds for this short-notice fight. He’ll gauge how his body feels once he makes 195 and decide from there which division will be best for him in the future. All that sounds like a surprisingly pragmatic way to go about it, so bravo to the fighter for taking a smart approach.
Babalu hopes to be more active during the next calendar year, you know, provided he doesn’t have to take on a third job – he opened his own gym in 2008 – just to feed his wife and kids.