Bjorn, You fool! Never give this man such easy access to your neck!
Even though Bellator hasn’t been giving us our weekly Friday night events over the summer, the promotion still managed to give us some big news last night. Yesterday, while you were preparing for dude’s night out, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney took to his Twitter page to announce that the promotion had come to terms with former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral. Along with the above image, Bjorn Rebney tweeted “Great news. Babalu now in the Bellator family. He’ll compete in our 205 tourney on Spike in January. Can’t wait.”
A fourteen year veteran of our sport, “Babalu” holds notable victories over Shogun Rua, Jeremy Horn, Chael Sonnen and current Bellator light-heavyweight Travis Wiuff. Given Wiuff’s current run in the promotion, there’s a very good chance that we’ll see these two fighting for the Bellator Light-Heavyweight title if they were to meet up again. Sobral’s most recent fight was a thirty one second armbar victory over Tatsuya Mizuno at ONE FC 4 in June. He was initially scheduled to fight at ONE FC’s August 31 show in Manila, Philippines, although an opponent had never been named.
The signing doesn’t come without a caveat though. Babalu has a history of fighting dirty – the most notable example of this being his refusal to let go of an anaconda choke after his opponent, David Heath, tapped at UFC 74, which got him fired from the promotion. But considering Bellator’s acquisition of other noted rule breakers, such as King Mo and Brett Rogers, the promotion has demonstrated a willingness to take chances on fighters before.
Given Bellator’s recent signings of Travis Wiuff, King Mo and now Renato Sobral, their light-heavyweight division has become surprisingly competitive – especially considering how depleted the UFC’s light-heavyweight division currently is (although, to be fair, a champion as dominant as Jon Jones will clean out any division). The only question now is whether or not the ratings will reflect this. So you tell us, Bellator Season Eight: You excited for it or not?