“Babalu” Sobral Signs With Bellator
By FCF Staff
Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight (205 pounds) Champion and UFC championship challenger Renato “Babalu” Sobral (37-9) has signed with Bellator Fighting Championships and will make his debut under the Bellator banner in the season 8 light heavyweight tournament, the promotion announced today.
The tournament will air on Spike TV, beginning in January.
The 37-year-old Babalu, who was victorious over Tatsuya Mizuno by way of first round armbar on June 23 at ONE FC’s fourth event, has only fought four times since 2010. His record in his last four starts is 2-2.
Sobral defeated Bobby Southworth for the Strikeforce title on Nov. 21, 2008, but lost his next Strikeforce bout to Gegard Mousasi. He returned to the win column by taking a unanimous decision from Robbie Lawler in his next start, but was stopped in the first round by Dan Henderson in the main event of a Strikeforce card in St. Louis on Dec. 4, 2010. The bout with Henderson served as a rematch to their meeting in 2000 that Henderson won by decision.
“Babalu is an awesome addition to the Bellator family,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “He’s beaten some of the greatest fighters in the sport, and poses a tremendous threat to every fighter in our Light Heavyweight Division. From a fans perspective, he’s incredibly exciting to watch, and I’m expecting big things from Babalu in January on Spike.”
Sobral holds submission victories over Chael Sonnen, Mauricio Rua and Travis Wiuff, amongst other notable opponents.
“I’m really happy to be a part of the Bellator family,” Sobral said. “This is my new home, and I can’t wait to get into the tournament. My only wish was that it could all be in one night, but I don’t think we can do that, so I’ll just put one more tournament under my belt, and I’m going to take this opportunity and get my shot at the Bellator World Title.”