Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral signs up with Bellator Fighting Championships on Friday. He will be the prized fighter to be featured in 2013 as a part of Bellator’s next 205 pound tournament.
When Sobral was interviewed for his switch, he exclaimed: “I’m happy to be a part of the Bellator family. This is my new home and I can’t wait to get into the tournament.” He adds: “I am going to take this opportunity and get my shot at the Bellator world title.
“Babalu” made his professional Mixed Martial Arts debut in 1997 and he challenged Chuck Liddell for the UFC light heavyweight title in 2006; then he received his release from the UFC the following year. He was unsuccessful to capture a UFC champion belt but he was able to capture gold at UFC rival Strikeforce. He defeated Bobby Southworth in 2008 to officially be called the light heavyweight champ. However, in 2000 he surrendered the belt to Gegard Mousasi. Sobral has won two of his last three matches with his most recent one submitting former Dream grand prix finalist fighter Tatsuya Mizuno; this fight was so impressive it just took Sobral 31 seconds in the fight to defeat Mizuno with an armbar. This was at the One Fighting Championship 4 in June 23.
Renato “Babalu” Sobral is 37 years old from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has a very impressive fight card of 37 wins and 9 losses. He wins mostly from submissions and with a few technical knockouts and knockouts to his name.
Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney comments on Sobral: “Babalu is an awesome addition to the Bellator family. He has beaten some of the greatest fighters in the sport and poses a tremendous threat to every fighter in our light heavyweight division. From a fan’s perspective, he’s incredibly exciting to watch and I’m expecting big things from Babalu in January on Spike.”
Summer is almost over and so is Bellator’s 2012 Summer Series. The third and final event of the season will take place on August 24; it will be a match to crown the next challenger for the reigning light heavyweight king Christian M’Pumbu as finalists Attila Vegh and Travis Wiuff fight. Bellator is seen on MTV2 and on 2013; it will broadcast live on Spike TV.