MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Babalu Sobral

Hendo Says Pain Meds Hampered Weight Cut, Performance in Shields Fight


("So … you holdin’?" PicProps: Some dude’s blog)

It was pretty clear back in April that Dan Henderson came to Strikeforce: Nashville fully intending to knock Jake Shields out in the first round. When that didn’t quite happen, it looked to a lot of people watching at home like Henderson just took an “ah, fuck this” attitude to the next four rounds. In conceding a unanimous decision loss, Hendo sent Shields cruising to the UFC on a high note while simultaneously raising a lot of troubling questions about his own future in the sport and exactly what Strikeforce got when it signed the 40-year-old former Pride champ to a deal after Big DW passed on him.

Now, Henderson says it wasn’t boredom or lack of training that made him look like a guy who’d rather be back home in California wolfing down fish tacos and watching the tide roll in for the final 20-minutes of his promotional debut.  It was, uh, the pain pills. Yeah … not sure if this makes it better or worse, but Hendo recently told MMA Weekly that the meds he was taking for his aching back turned his weight cut to 185-pounds for that bout into a real doozy and that it left him feeling not quite himself by the time he stepped in the cage.

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Babalu Ready to Get Off the Bench


(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.

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Well, at Least We Still Have Babalu vs. Mousasi…


(Props: youtube.com/afflictionvideos via MMA Fanhouse)

It’s a small comfort in light of the canceled main event, but at least Affliction: Trilogy (if it is indeed still happening) will feature an important light-heavyweight bout between Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Gegard Mousasi. The above video promo paints the two fighters as polar opposites: Sobral is the hardy veteran who’s fought everybody and seen it all; the dangerous grappler who’s just as interesting outside of the ring. Mousasi is the young and confident striker who responds to every interview question with a deadpan shrug. It’s a clash of styles that will either solidify Sobral’s status as one of the best 205-pounders in the world, or prove that Mousasi can be dominant in a new weight class. "I’m the guy who wants to hurt him," Mousasi says, "[Sobral] only wants to submit me." Babalu responds with some of his trademark craziness: "If he talks shit, he gonna pee in the ring. If he doesn’t, he’s gonna pee anyway." Yikes. Gegard’s Bladder, you’ve just been put on notice…

After the jump: A preview of the middleweight bout that might not happen anymore — Vitor Belfort vs. Jorge Santiago.

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Ask the Potato


(Lesnar’s fighting style is truly an inspiration to asshole big brothers everywhere.)

Gather round, Potato Nation.  It’s time to sort through the latest batch of your Ask the Potato questions and see what kind of pointless queries have been bouncing around in your precious little heads.  If you  have a question of your own, by all means, let us know in the forums.  If you already asked a question and we still haven’t answered it, we’re probably not going to.  Ask a better question.

Which fighter as of right now has the most drawing power, and why?? – Rokabee

The difficult part about answering this question is correlation vs. causation.  How do we know it’s any one guy drawing huge numbers, and not the timing or the overall card?  The best we can do is look at the highest performing pay-per-views and sell-out events and try to figure out which fighter consistently shows up on those cards.  When we do it that way over the short term, the answer is Brock Lesnar.  Every pay-per-view he’s on does better than the last one.  Thing is, he’s only been on three so far.  If we were fucking doctors or scientists or something, we’d probably say that was too small a sample size.  But we’re not, and you did say, “as of right now,” so there’s your answer.  His pro wrestling fanbase, the sheer curiosity as to what he might become in MMA, plus his volatility make Lesnar a consistent draw.

Are knees to the body on the ground the single most destructive and under-used strike in MMA? You wouldn’t figure it would take too many well planted knees to just ruin an opponent, but you don’t see many guys in side control try it. Wassup wit dat!!! – Dmonicideals

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Party Like a Potato


(I know, Joe.  I have the same reaction when I get too close to the Cage Potato logo.)

It’s hard to be the Cage Potato sometimes.  Partying with MMA royalty like Forrest Griffin and Urijah Faber.  Drinking for free at an open bar while chicks in bikinis gyrate beneath a giant flashing sign that says “SEXY.”  Giving out free Hall of Fame t-shirts to the pleading masses.  Oh, wait a minute.  That isn’t hard.  That was just my Friday night.

If you can’t tell from the above paragraph, last night’s Fight Magazine/Cage Potato VIP Party was a complete success.  I arrived with an all-star blogging crew that featured Fightlinker’s Ryan Harkness and MMA Frenzy’s Kris Karkoski precisely at 8:30 pm.  It might seem a little lame of us to show up exactly when the party was scheduled to start, but in our defense: a) that’s when the open bar started, and b) Joe Stevenson had already been there for ten minutes by then.  That’s right, “Daddy” knows how to party.

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Videos: Danablog #3, Belcher-Kang, + More Affliction Hype


Dana White’s UFC 93 video blog, episode 3 – Watch more free videos

Dana White’s latest video-blogging effort is very long but not very interesting.  He pumps a little iron, tries to convert kilograms to pounds, wanders around Dublin, and strikes up conversations with a few fighters.  Yawn.  Just goes to show that the tedium of anyone’s daily life is still boring, even if they’re the head of the UFC.

Alan Belcher seems to think he’s gotten a good deal for himself in securing a bout with Denis Kang, who’s making his UFC debut this Saturday.  Oddsmakers certainly don’t agree, but as Belcher points out, the vibe from the crowd in the UFC is very different from Japan.  Just how much that will affect Kang, who’s been around in this sport for a while now, that remains to be seen.

After the jump, Affliction hypes Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral with some help from Loretta Hunt and Josh Gross.

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Babalu Will Cut You, Man! And Other Strikeforce Results

Babalu Bobby Southworth cut
(That’s got to sting a bit. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

What’s the most anti-climactic way for a title fight to end? Okay, the second-most anti-climactic, right behind double KO via simultaneous cardiac arrest? You guessed it: stoppage due to a cut. That’s what did Bobby Southworth in at last night’s Strikeforce. As you can see, it was a nasty one brought on by one of “Babalu” Sobral‘s elbows in the first round. Before the second could start doctors waved it off, and just that easy “Babalu” is now the Strikeforce champ.

In other action, Kim Couture put her increased aggression to good use, while her opponent fought very much like we expected given her scared-soccer-mom appearance at the weigh-in. Duane “Bang” Ludwig earned a decision victory over Yves Edwards. And Scott Smith knocked Terry Martin out cold in just twenty-four seconds. Looks like there’ll be a Christmas at the “Hands of Steel” household, after all.

Full results after the jump.

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Affliction’s Contract Talks With Tito Ortiz Sound Downright Painful


(Tito and Jenna, still trying to solve that age-old argument about which is the more lucrative industry: fighting or screwing?)

Here’s what you know going into contract negotiations with Tito Ortiz: he is going to insist that you pay him waaaay more than he’s actually worth, and he will genuinely believe that it’s justified. That’s what Affliction is finding out. After claiming he had a “ground-breaking record” contract in the works only to have his statement directly contradicted by Affliction COO Michael Cohen, Ortiz is now actually said to be in negotiations with Affliction, though it isn’t going well.

Affliction VP Tom Atencio told MMA Weekly, “We’ve got a contract, and it’s just not feasible.”

I think we can untangle that odd syntax enough to infer that what he means is Ortiz has told them how much money he wants and it’s absolutely ridiculous. Color me surprised. The problem is that Ortiz has an inflated sense of what he can bring to an MMA organization at this point. For example, he claims that he’ll do a guaranteed 500,000 pay-per-view buys for Affliction. This is what’s known as “crazy talk.”

Ortiz isn’t that big a star anymore. He only thinks he is. MMA fans have seen him limp along the last few years with victories over an over-the-hill Ken Shamrock and his more recent loss to Lyoto Machida, so it isn’t likely that too many of the hardcore faithful are dying to see “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” back in action.

If his reasoning is that fans of “The Apprentice” are going to plop down forty bucks to see him fight “Babalu” Sobral (who most of them have probably never heard of) in Affliction (an organization they may or may not be aware of), then he’s overestimating the reality TV crowd’s attention span. They’ve forgotten him in favor of Brooke Hogan and Mr. Boston by now.

When the people who paid Matt Lindland $300,000 and Tim Sylvia $800,000 think your expectations are “not feasible,” you must really be off the mark.

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