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Tag: Renato Babalu Sobral

Renato “Babalu” Sobral Inks Deal with Bellator, Will Compete in Season Eight Tournament

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.


ONE FC Reportedly Signs Shinya Aoki and…Bibiano Fernandes? Wait, WHAT?!

Pictured: The closest Fernandes has come to landing a punch in the UFC.

After an astonishing 0-0 run in the UFC, it looks like Bibiano Fernandes already has a new home.

It’s being reported by that the former DREAM bantamweight champion has inked a deal with ONE FC and is set to make his promotional debut at an August 31 show in Manila, Philippines. An opponent has not been specified at this time.


Six Reasons to Be Sort-Of Interested in this Weekend’s Fights

(Props: @ewillphoto via ThePeoplesCecil)

Perhaps “cluttered” is the best word to describe this weekend’s action. After all, that’s the same word that you would also use for your bedroom floor: There’s a lot of stuff on it, but there’s not much there that you couldn’t live without. This weekend, we have a lot of MMA available to us, such as UFC on FX 4, UFC 147 and Bellator 71. But despite the quantity of the fights available to us, there seems to be very little in terms of fights with immediate significance. It’s one thing when ratings are slipping, it’s another thing when your promotion has to offer full refunds for an injury plagued card, and it’s yet another thing when the only attention your promotion gets for an upcoming card revolves around the wife beater you recently inked a deal with.

But have no fear; this floor isn’t entirely covered in dirty socks, empty bottles and condom wrappers. There are some interesting tussles worth watching (notice we didn’t say pay for), which we’ll make the argument for after the jump. Or you can just join us later for our liveblogs of UFC on FX 4 and UFC 147. That works, too.


Lombard to Take on Prangley in 195-pound Catchweight Bout on November 19 at Bellator 58

(The Bellator catchweight champ will be looking to extend his unbeaten streak to 25 fights with a win over Prangley.)

Bellator Fighting Championships announced today that its current middleweight champion, Hector Lombard (32-1-1, 1 NC) will square off with UFC and Strikeforce vet Trevor Prangley (23-8-1) in a non-title catchweight affair at Bellator 58 on November 19 at the  Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fl.

I guess talks with Babalu went South for the time being.

The bout, which will be contested at 195 lbs for unknown reasons will be the second non-title bout in a row for Lombard, who won the Bellator strap in June 2009 and has only defended it once since, when he defeated Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 34 last October.


Bellator is Teasing Hector Lombard vs. Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral Nov. 19

(“Publicity stunt, you say? What’s that?”)

Apparently Renato “Babalu” Sobral is a free agent. Otherwise, Bellator wouldn’t be talking to the former UFC light heavyweight contender about possibly facing its middleweight champ, Hector Lombard.

According to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, his promotion has been involved in talks with Sobral’s camp to sign the 36-9  submission specialist for a non-title bout with Lombard (30-2-1, 1 NC) at Bellator 58 on November 19, but nothing is set in stone. Strangely, the promoter still announced that the bout was in the works, which could simply be a tactic to pressure Babalu, who has only fought twice in the past two years, into signing on the dotted line.

“I’ve been a big ‘Babalu’ fan for a lot of years,” Rebney told MMAJunkie. “They weren’t really on our radar, but then they reached out to us and opened the door and asked for a few things. We agreed to all of them. … But now we’re siting back and waiting. We haven’t heard anything back from them in three or four days.”


Five Fights We’d Like to See on the UFC Rio Card

(“Screw what I said about business as usual. Let’s make some fan-fucking-tastic fights for this card.”)

With the UFC’s landmark Rio card fast approaching, we thought we’d sit down and think about a handful of bouts we as fans (and pseudo-reporters) would REALLY like to see added to the card.

(We’re looking at you Royce. Seriously. Walk away, dude.)

Check out what we came up with after the jump.


Exclusive: Babalu Talks Boring Fighters, Why He Became a Fighter and Whether or Not He Thinks About Going Back to the UFC

("Does Jake Shields have a watch like this? That’s what I thought.")

Three years ago, Renato Sobral made a rash decision that would change his career and his life.

Following a submission victory over David Heath at UFC 74, Sobral refused to relinquish the fight-ending anaconda choke despite commands by referee Steve Mazzagatti to let go and he put "The Headhunter" to sleep.

He was subsequently released by the UFC and was fined half of his $50,000 purse by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the infraction, but the biggest hit he took was to his reputation. 

Sobral was a fan favorite in the UFC, but the backlash he received for that split-second decision followed him and he says he is cognizant of the effect his mistake had on his fan following and he says he has worked to rebuild his reputation.

Sometimes fans forget that fighters, like us, are human and that they sometimes have a bad night, a lapse in judgment or personal issues. They tend to look at athletes as larger than life beings, akin to superheroes who don’t have to deal with the everyday issues that plague mortals like us.

Karo Parisyan shattered that facade recently and proved that no matter how pissed off Dana White may be at a fighter, the door is never closed to a possible return to the Octagon.

We recently sat down with the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion ahead of his December 4 bout with Dan Henderson and we broached a number of subjects including whether he thinks about going back to the UFC, what his family thought of him becoming a fighter and the trend of round winners in MMA.

Check out what Babalu had to say after the jump.


Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu Conference Call Notes

Strikeforce held a conference call on Tuesday ahead of its next major event December 4 in St. Louis. Besides CEO Scott Coker, also on the call were the card’s two main event fighters, former Pride welterweight and middleweight champion Dan Henderson and former Strikeforce light heavyweight title holder Renato "Babalu" Sobral.

Coker has intimated that the winner of the bout will likely be next in line for a shot at current Strikeforce 205-pound champ Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante, so the implications are much bigger than just a rematch that fans want to see.

The pair first squared off in 1999 under the Rings banner where Henderson took the split decision. Although Sobral says he isn’t approaching the fight as being his shot at avenging the debatable decision, but it’s clear that he still has a bitter taste in his mouth from the loss.

The highlights of the call are after the jump.


Lawler vs. Lindland Middleweight Clash Added to December 4 Strikeforce Card

(When Lawler said he’ll beat Lindland with his eyes closed, he was serious.)

Strikeforce announced today that a bout between Matt "The Law" Lindland and "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler has been added to its December 4 show in St. Louis, Missouri.

2-3 in his last five outings, Lindland will be looking to avoid racking up any more brain trauma when he meets the dangerous knockout artist, Lawler, who has also only won two of his last five contests.

Two statistics worth noting are that Lawler has finished each of the six opponents he defeated in his past ten fights by KO or TKO and that four of his six losses have come by submission. Considering that Lindland has submitted a hanful of tough jiu-jitsu black belts including Travis Lutter, Carlos Newton and Fabio Leopoldo, the fight could be more competitive than it seems at first glance.


Dan Henderson vs. Babalu and Jason “Mayhem” Miller vs. Nick Diaz Strikeforce Match-Ups a Possibility for October CBS Show

(Video Courtesy YouTube/

Match-ups between four Strikeforce stand-out fighters are being discussed for a potential October CBS-broadcasted event according to various industry sources.

MMAFighting reports that although he is noncommital whether one of the bouts — a light heavyweight tilt between Dan Henderson and Renato "Bablu" Sobral will happen on the card,  if indeed at all, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the fight could take place on the rumored October CBS show.