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Tag: Renato Sobral

Bellator 85 Results: Chandler Dominates Hawn, Curran Sneaks by Pitbull, Babalu and Petruzelli Wash Out of LHW Tournament


(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)

If we needed any more proof that Michael Chandler deserves to be mentioned among the world’s best 155′ers, we got it last night at Bellator 85 in Irvine, California, when the reigning Bellator lightweight champion made decorated judoka Rick Hawn look like it was his first time on the mats. Chandler completed his takedowns with impressive ease, and when he saw an opportunity to take Hawn’s neck during a scramble in round two, he seized on it, sinking a rear-naked choke and showcasing the killer instinct that has now become a hallmark of Chandler’s game. To be honest, it wasn’t much of a fight, and this season’s lightweight tournament field doesn’t suggest that his next challenger will make things any harder for him. On the bright side, Chandler may have just established himself as Bellator’s greatest home-grown fighter — a budding superstar for the promotion’s new Spike TV era.

While Michael Chandler made his title defense with little resistance, reigning featherweight champion Pat Curran faced a much trickier test in Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Their title fight (which led off the Spike TV broadcast) played out as a 25-minute kickboxing match, which started slow but built into an entertaining and evenly-pitched battle. Curran’s striking was just a little more active and accurate, however, and if you were judging on facial damage through the fight, Pitbull’s swollen-shut right eye and bloodied mouth didn’t exactly scream “winner.” When the scores were announced, “Judo” Gene LeBell saw it for the challenger, but the other two judges made the right call in awarding the win to the defending champ.

In addition to the two title fights, Bellator 85′s main card also featured a pair of light-heavyweight tournament quarterfinals. Unfortunately, those UFC castoffs we mentioned yesterday are well on their way to becoming Bellator castoffs as well, as Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Seth Petruzelli were steamrolled by their lesser-known competitors. Russian M-1 Challenge vet Mikhail Zayats stunned Sobral with a spinning-backfist near the end of the first round of their fight, then swarmed him to the canvas and fired down punches until the fight was stopped. (Eddie Alvarez’s wife called that shit, you guys.)

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Four Reasons Why You Should Watch Bellator’s Spike TV Debut Tonight


(Pat Curran, King Mo, and Michael Chandler — co-nominees in the “Best Kiss” category. / Photo via Getty Images)

Bellator’s eighth season kicks off tonight on Spike TV (10/9c), and now that the promotion has left Friday nights, you might even be thinking about watching the show. Here’s why that’s a good idea…

1. Michael Chandler is the second-greatest undefeated fighter in the world. Since winning Bellator’s lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez in November 2011, Chandler has competed exactly once — a 56-second TKO of Akihiro Gono in a non-title mismatch last May. Now carrying a perfect record of 10-0, Chandler is once again facing a legit challenge in the form of Rick Hawn, the former Olympic judoka and Bellator mainstay who dropped down from welterweight last year and swept the Season 6 Lightweight Tournament.

2. Pat Curran is also an entertaining son-of-a-bitch. Undefeated at 145 pounds, Curran also competed just once last year, when he very nearly ended Joe Warren’s life to win Bellator’s featherweight title. We’ve been itching to see him back in the game, and he’ll be leading off tonight’s Spike broadcast with a belt-defense against Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Speaking of guys who have been sidelined for a while, Pitbull hasn’t been in the cage since he won the Season Four Featherweight Tournament in 2011, partly due to a broken hand suffered in training last year.

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Bellator Confirms Stacked Lineup for Jan. 17 Spike TV Premiere, Debut Date for King Mo and ‘Babalu’

Bellator’s first event on Spike TV will take place Thursday, January 17th, at the University of California’s Bren Center in Irvine, California, and will be headlined by a pair of title fights. The promotion confirmed the news today, revealing that undefeated phenom Michael Chandler will make his first official lightweight title defense at the event (aka Bellator 85) against Rick Hawn, the 14-1 Olympic judoka who won the Season 5 lightweight tournament earlier this year.

Also on the card, featherweight champion Pat Curran — who’s 4-0 since dropping to 145 and is coming off his near-murder of Joe Warren — will be putting his belt on the line against explosive contender Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Though Freire won all three of his fights in 2011, winning the Season 4 featherweight tournament, he wasn’t able to compete in 2012, partly due to injuries.

And that’s not all. During a Bellator/Spike TV conference call held earlier today, many more details about Bellator 85 and the promotion’s upcoming eighth season were announced. For instance…

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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.

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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 MMAFighting.com 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.

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[VIDEO] ONE FC 4: Destiny of Warriors Main Card, in Its Entirety

It may have been merely a footnote to most fans in an already sub-par chapter of MMA events, but this weekend’s ONE FC 4 gave fans a quick fix for soccer kicks, quick stoppages and some lesser-known talent making names for themselves.

But before we get to that, let’s talk about the names you’re already familiar with. Roger Huerta took to the cage at welterweight looking to rebound from an ugly TKO at the hands of War Machine. His initial opponent, Phil Baroni, was forced off of the card due to an ugly knockout loss at the hands of Chris Holland at Ring of Fire 43 earlier this month. Replacing “The New York Badass” was Zorobabel Moreira, a tall lightweight sporting a 6-1 record before the bout. If “El Matador” was looking to break out of his recent slump, Moreira was, on paper, the perfect opportunity.

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Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral to Face Canadian Slugger Steve Bosse at Instinct 4 in May in Quebec


(This is a make or break fight. The winner will be the fans.)

Up-and-coming Quebec light heavyweight Steve Bosse will face the toughest test of his career in May when he takes on former Strikeforce 205-pound champ Renato “Babalu” Sobral at Instinct 4: Babalu vs. Bosse in May.

Instinct MMA president Stephane Patry, who was the founder of Quebec’s most successful promotion, TKO,  announced the bout today via press release. Patry also stated that a date and a venue for the show have yet to be locked down, but should be finalized in the coming days.

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Babalu vs. Manhoef to Headline One FC’s Third Event in March

Robbie Lawler Melvin Manhoef Strikeforce MMA photos
(No matter how many times his trainers warned him against it, Melvin was convinced that he would become the first person to pull off the Statue of Liberty play in mixed martial arts competition.)

Exciting news today comes compliments of upstart Asian promotion One Fighting Championship. In addition to signing a ten year television partnership with ESPN Star Sports, One FC announced at a press conference this morning that their third event will be headlined by Strikeforce veterans Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Melvin Manhoef squaring off in a light heavyweight contest.

After a successful debut event back in September of 2011, One FC signed a huge partnership deal with over 15 smaller promotions and 23 gyms and announced plans to put on 3 different shows in 3 different countries in 2012. The second show, titled “Battle of Heroes,” will transpire on February 11th from Jakarta, Indonesia, and features a heavyweight tilt between Bob Sapp and Rolles Gracie as well as a headlining lightweight bout pairing Pancrase one-timer Felipe Enomoto against 5-2 K-1 veteran Ole Larson.

One FC 3, which is set to go down on March 31st from the Singapore Indoor Stadium, will also feature Japanese leglock master Masakazu Imanari facing off against undefeated prospect Kevin Belingon, Eduard Folayang, Zorobabel Moreira, and Eddie Ng taking on unnamed opponents, and Singapore’s own Nicole Chua making her MMA debut. It’s nice to see a small promotion gaining some momentum, no?

We last saw Babalu suffer a first round KO loss to Dan Henderson back in their December 2010 rematch; apparently the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has been recovering over the past year from a brutal snowboarding accident that happened shortly thereafter. Who would’ve guessed? Fun fact: Babalu was the focus of a 2009 music video from Massachusetts based heavy metal kings Shadows Fall.

Manhoef has not fought a MMA match since falling to a first round submission (go figure) at the hands of Tim Kennedy at Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson in March of 2011, and has dropped 5 of his last 7 mixed martial arts contests. His luck in the kickboxing world has not been much better; Manhoef last competed just three days ago at It’s Showtime 2012 in Leeuwarden, where he dropped a unanimous decision to 7th ranked heavyweight contender Tyrone Spong. You can find that video after the jump, courtesy of IronForgesIron.

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When Good Submissions Go Bad: Six Fighters Who Ignored the Tap

(A little club soda will get that right out.)

When discussing his fourth round tapout loss to UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones, Rampage Jackson explained that he lets no man put him to sleep because he doesn’t trust people. I’m not exactly certain what Jackson fears might unfold once he goes out, but vile atrocities such as antiquing and billboarding have been perpetrated on unconscious fighters before. But there’s a certain amount of trust that goes into tapping out as well. The tapout is nothing more than a gentlemen’s agreement, really, in which one fighter admits that he’s taken enough punishment for one day. But not everyone in the face-punching business is a gentleman, and sometimes your opponent may not agree that you’ve taken all of the damage you deserve.

When you hold a submission too long there’s a chance of causing damage to a limb or unconsciousness, but it always leads to hurt feelings.

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Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu — Live Results + Commentary

Dan Henderson Renato Babalu Sobral Strikeforce MMA weigh-in photos
("Babalu, you old son of a bitch, I thought you were dead." "Maybe I was, Danny. Maybe I was." Photos courtesy of Esther Lin/Strikeforce.)
Antonio Bigfoot SIlva Mike Kyle Strikeforce Strikeforce Rockstar ring girls Kelli Hutcherson MMA photos Robbie Lawler Matt Lindland Strikeforce MMA photos
(From left to right: Mike Kyle squares off with Bigfoot Silva’s massive cranium, Kelli Hutcherson stands out in a crowd, and this is going to sound really strange, but does that photo of Lawler and Lindland remind anybody else of those optical illusion face-drawings that show a different person when you look at them upside-down?)

Headlined by a rematch ten years in the making, and featuring a solid supporting cast of knockout artists, Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu could be the sleeper event of the year. The main card is about to kick off at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, and CagePotato contributor Matt Kaplan will be liveblogging it as quickly as his little fingers will allow. Round-by-round updates from the Showtime broadcast can be found after the jump, beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and share your own thoughts in the comments section.

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