“Babalu” To Face Melvin Manhoef At ONE FC On March 31
By FCF Staff
Former UFC light heavyweight championship challenger and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Renato “Babalu” Sobral (36-9) of Orange County, Calif. by way of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil will return to action against K-1 kickboxer and Melvin Manhoef (24-9-1 ) of Amsterdam, Holland in the main event of ONE Fighting Championship’s third fight card, slated for March 31 at Singapore Indoor Stadium, ONE officials announced.
ONE also announced the debut of Singapore’s first professional female MMA fighter, Nicole Chua, on the card.
The 36-year old Sobral’s start will be his first since he suffered a first round KO (punches) at the hands of old rival and MMA legend Dan Henderson at Strikeforce in St. Louis, MO. on Dec. 4, 2010. The bout served as a rematch to the pair’s first meeting in 2000 when Henderson earned a majority decision over Sobral.
Sobral captured the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship by defeating Bobby Southworth via first round TKO (doctor stoppage) on Nov. 21, 2008. He surrendered the title to Gegard Mousasi, who scored a first round KO (punches) on Sobral at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg on Aug. 15, 2009.
Manhoef, a world kickboxing champion known for his power strikes, will make his first appearance since tapping out to a Tim Kennedy rear-naked choke in the first round of their meeting at Strikeforce in Columbus, Ohio on March 5, 2011. The loss was Manhoef’s third straight.