Renato Da Cunha Sobral (Template:IPA-pt; born September 7, 1975), also known as "Babalu", is a Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter, and former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion. He is noted for his aggressive style, grappling prowess, and high-caliber submissions. Sobral previously fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship where he posted a 6-4 record. He is a member of the Gracie Barra Cerritos  and has a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Carlos Gracie Jr. Some of his MMA achievements include defeating fighters Trevor Prangley, Mauricio Rua, and Jeremy Horn in a single night at IFC's Global Domination tournament. Sobral was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Mixed martial arts careerEdit
Sobral's background is in wrestling. Before joining the Gracie Barra Combat Team he was a Brazilian national wrestling champion and was trained in Ruas Vale Tudo, a martial arts system developed by Marco Ruas.
At UFC 62, Sobral was defeated by Chuck Liddell in a bout for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. The match was stopped as a technical knockout at 95 seconds into the first round. Following his loss to Liddell, Sobral faced Jason Lambert at UFC 68. Sobral was knocked out in the second round.
UFC 74 controversyEdit
Sobral's next fight was at UFC 74 against David Heath. The first round consisted of Sobral ground and pounding Heath. In the second round, he opened a cut on Heath's forehead which bled profusely. Sobral secured another takedown and then worked to an anaconda choke. Heath quickly tapped out, but Sobral continued to hold the anaconda choke, ignoring referee Steve Mazzagatti's commands and resisting his attempts to break the hold. Sobral did not release the choke until Heath passed out from hypoxia. During his post-fight interview, Sobral told UFC color analyst Joe Rogan that he was aware that Heath had tapped, but "he (Heath) has to learn respect. He deserved that. He called me 'motherfucker'." In his dressing room after the fight, Sobral spoke to Las Vegas Journal-Review columnist Ed Graney. Sobral then mocked the crowd for booing him, saying "The crowd didn't like it? Who cares? At least they had a reaction."
On August 30, 2007, Sobral was released from his contractual obligations by the UFC due to his actions at UFC 74. UFC President Dana White called Sobral's actions "completely unacceptable. This is the fight game and shit happens. But no way can you do what he did." White also supported the fans attitude towards Sobral after the fight. "I think you saw the response from the fans. Babalu was a fan favorite. They turned on him immediately." Additionally, the Nevada State Athletic Commission withheld $25,000 of Sobral's $50,000 fight purse and convened a hearing to deal with both his holding the choke and ignoring Mazzagatti's orders.
Strikeforce and Affliction Edit
After the termination of his deal with the UFC, Sobral was courted by numerous promotions looking to sign him. During the September 29 Strikeforce event at the Playboy Mansion it was announced that Sobral had signed a non-exclusive deal with Strikeforce. It has since been revealed that he has signed two more non-exclusive deals with Hardcore Championship Fighting and Xcess Fighting. Sobral also later competed in an event for the Ring of Fire promotion, defeating Rodney Faverus by submission (arm triangle choke).
Sobral was scheduled to fight fellow UFC veteran Vernon "Tiger" White in a match to crown the first WCO Light Heavyweight Champion. However, because the show's promoters were unable to secure adequate funding to pay the fighters, the show was canceled at the last minute by the California State Athletic Commission.
Sobral then signed with Affliction Entertainment's MMA promotion and appeared at Affliction: Banned on July 19, defeating Mike Whitehead by unanimous decision. Sobral's next fight was against Bobby Southworth in San Jose, California on November 21 for the Strikeforce promotion. Babalu defeated Southworth via TKO due to a cut over the right eye in between round one and two, making him the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion.
Sobral next fought his second fight for Affliction, this time against Sokoudjou at Affliction: Day of Reckoning on January 24, 2009 in a light heavyweight fight. The fight ended in the second round when Babalu submitted Sokoudjou with a D'arce/Brabo choke. After his victory he showed an interest in fighting former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Tito Ortiz.
Sobral was set to fight fellow Brazilian Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante at the past event Strikeforce Presents: Lawler Vs. Shields in St. Louis, Missouri on June 6, 2009, but the bout was scratched. The bout would have been for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship.
Sobral was next set to make his third appearance for Affliction in a fight against Gegard Mousasi at Affliction: Trilogy, but the event was canceled after losing its main event. The fight was then moved to Strikeforce's August 15 card, Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg and changed into a Light Heavy Weight bout for the Light-Heavyweight Championship with Sobral as the title holder. Sobral lost the title to Mousasi by first round Knockout.
MMA record Edit
|Professional record breakdown|
|48||35 wins||8 losses|
|35–8||2009-08-15||Loss||Gegard Mousasi||Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg||KO (Punches)||1||1:00||San Jose, California||Lost Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship|
|35–7||2009-01-24||Win||Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou||Affliction: Day of Reckoning||Submission (D'arce Choke)||2||2:36||Anaheim, California, US|
|34–7||2008-11-21||Win||Bobby Southworth||Strikeforce: Destruction||TKO (Cut)||1||5:00||San Jose, California, US||Won Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship|
|33–7||2008-07-19||Win||Mike Whitehead||Affliction: Banned||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00||Anaheim, California, US|
|32–7||2007-12-09||Win||Rodney Glunder||Ring of Fire||Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke)||1||0:27||22px Manila, Philippines|
|31–7||2007-08-25||Win||David Heath||UFC 74: Respect||Submission (anaconda choke)||2||3:30||Las Vegas, Nevada, US||Sobral was released from the UFC for refusing to release the choke after referee stoppage of the fight.|
|30–7||2007-03-03||Loss||Jason Lambert||UFC 68: The Uprising||KO (Punch)||2||3:26||Columbus, Ohio, US|
|30–6||2006-08-26||Loss||Chuck Liddell||UFC 62: Liddell vs Sobral||TKO (Punches)||1||1:35||Las Vegas, Nevada, US||For UFC Light Heavyweight Championship|
|30–5||2006-02-04||Win||Mike Van Arsdale||UFC 57: Liddell vs Couture 3||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||1||2:21||Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
|29–5||2005-10-07||Win||Chael Sonnen||UFC 55: Fury||Submission (Triangle Choke)||2||1:20||Uncasville, Connecticut, US|
|28–5||2005-04-16||Win||Travis Wiuff||UFC 52: Couture vs Liddell 2||Submission (Armbar)||2||0:24||Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
|27–5||2005-02-26||Win||Pierre Guillet||Cage Rage 10-Deliverance||Submission (Strikes)||1||1:57||London, England, UK|
|26–5||2004-11-27||Win||Cyrille Diabate||Cage Rage 9-No Mercy||Submission (Triangle Choke)||1||3:38||London, England, UK|
|25–5||2004-10-23||Win||Jose Landi-Jons||JF 3-Jungle Fight 3||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00||Manaus, Brazil|
|24–5||2003-09-06||Win||Jeremy Horn||IFC-Global Domination||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00||Denver, Colorado, US||IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Final|
|23–5||2003-09-06||Win||Mauricio Rua||IFC-Global Domination||Submission (Guillotine Choke)||3||3:07||Denver, Colorado, US||IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal|
|22–5||2003-09-06||Win||Trevor Prangley||IFC-Global Domination||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00||Denver, Colorado, US||IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal|
|21–5||2003-07-31||Win||Marcelo Azevedo||Heat FC 1-Genesis||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00||Natal, Brazil|
|20–5||2002-11-22||Loss||Chuck Liddell||UFC 40: Vendetta||KO (Head Kick)||1||2:55||Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
|20–4||2002-07-13||Win||Elvis Sinosic||UFC 38: Brawl at the Hall||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00||London, England, UK|
|19–4||2002-01-11||Loss||Kevin Randleman||UFC 35: Throwdown||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00||Uncasville, Connecticut, US|
|19–3||2001-08-11||Loss||Fedor Emelianenko||Rings-10th Anniversary||Decision (Unanimous)||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|19–2||2001-06-15||Win||Tsuyoshi Kohsaka||Rings-World Title Series 2||Decision (Majority)||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|18–2||2001-02-24||Win||Kiyoshi Tamura||Rings-King of Kings 2000 Final||Decision (Majority)||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|17–2||2000-11-17||Win||Maurice Smith||UFC 28: High Stakes||Decision||3||5:00||Atlantic City, New Jersey, US|
|16–2||2000-10-09||Loss||Valentijn Overeem||Rings-King of Kings 2000 Block A||Submission (Toe Hold)||1||2:19||Tokyo, Japan|
|16–1||2000-10-09||Win||Tariel Bitsadze||Rings-King of Kings 2000 Block A||Submission (Armbar)||1||2:58||Tokyo, Japan|
|15–1||2000-06-15||Win||Hiromitsu Kanehara||Rings-Millennium Combine 2||Decision (Unanimous)||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|14–1||2000-05-20||Win||Jacob Zobnin||Rings Russia-Rings Russia||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||1||3:20||Tokyo, Japan|
|13–1||2000-04-20||Win||Travis Fulton||Rings-Millennium Combine 1||Submission (Armbar)||1||4:49||Tokyo, Japan|
|12–1||2000-02-26||Loss||Dan Henderson||Rings-King of Kings 1999 Final||Decision (Majority)||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|12–0||2000-02-26||Win||Kiyoshi Tamura||Rings-King of Kings 1999 Final||Decision (Majority)||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|11–0||2000-02-26||Win||Mikhail Illoukhine||Rings-King of Kings 1999 Final||Submission (Armbar)||3||0:40||Tokyo, Japan|
|10–0||2000-01-15||Win||Brad Kohler||World Extreme Fighting – 8-Goin' Platinum||KO (Soccer Kick to the head)||2||0:50||Rome, Georgia|
|9–0||1999-10-28||Win||Lee Hasdell||Rings-King of Kings 1999 Block A||Decision (Unanimous)||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|8–0||1999-10-28||Win||Zaza Tkeshelashvili||Rings-King of Kings 1999 Block A||Submission (kimura)||2||1:11||Tokyo, Japan|
|7–0||1999-07-24||Win||Dario Amorim||BVF 14-Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5||Submission (Punches)||1||2:14||Brazil|
|6–0||1999-07-24||Win||Pedro Otavio||BVF 14-Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5||Submission (Punches)||1||4:34||Brazil|
|5–0||1999-07-24||Win||Augusto Menezes Santos||BVF 14-Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5||Submission (Keylock)||1||0:56||Brazil|
|4–0||1999-01-20||Win||Fernando Cerchiari||IVC 8-The Road Back to the Top||KO (Punches)||1||4:41||Aracaju, Brazil|
|3–0||1997-09-27||Win||Marco Vinicios||Desafio – Rio vs. São Paulo||TKO (Retirement)||2||4:58||Brazil|
|2–0||1997-09-27||Win||Manoel Vicente||Desafio – Rio vs. São Paulo||TKO (Punches and Stomp)||1||6:27||Brazil|
|1–0||1997-09-27||Win||Claudio Palma||Desafio – Rio vs. São Paulo||Submission (Leg Kicks)||1||2:08||Brazil|
- ↑ http://www.fiveknuckles.com/mma-fighter/Renato-Sobral.html
- ↑ Wrobel, Pedro (November 23, 2004). Renato "Babalu" Sobral Interview. Sherdog.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-12.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Iole, Kevin (August 28, 2007). There should be no room for Babalu's antics. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved on 2008-01-12.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Gross, Josh (August 30, 2007). Babaloose: UFC Cuts Controversial Fighter. Sherdog.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-12.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Gross, Josh (September 24, 2007). NSAC Fines 'Babalu' 25K. Sherdog.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-12.
- ↑ Carpinello, Dave (September 30, 2007). Josh Thomson: After the Mansion. Punch Drunk Gamer. Retrieved on 2008-01-12.
- ↑ Perkins, Jason (November 1, 2007). Renato “Babalu” Sobral Signs With Xcess Fighting. MMA Fightline. Retrieved on 2008-01-12.
- ↑ WCO Hits San Diego. Sherdog.com (December 27, 2007). Retrieved on 2008-01-12.
- ↑ Gross, Josh (January 12, 2008). Breaking News: Saturday's WCO Event Cancelled. Retrieved on 2008-01-12.
- ↑ Sobral expected to face Mousasi at Affliction: Trilogy. M-1 Global (June 1, 2009). Retrieved on June 1, 2009.
- ↑ Affliction Releases Official Statement on Cancellation. The Fight Network (2009-07-24). Retrieved on 2009-07-24.
- ↑ Smith, Michael David (2009-07-27). Strikeforce Adds Gegard Mousasi vs. Renato 'Babalu' Sobral Title Fight. MMA Fanhouse. Retrieved on 2009-07-27.
- ↑ Renato "Babalu" Sobral signs with DREAM for May light heavyweight tournament. mmajunkie.com. Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. Retrieved on 2010-03-18.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Outside the Octagon. SHERDOG.com, by Loretta Hunt (2008-11-21). Retrieved on 2008-11-21.
- ↑ FOCUSED ON SOKOUDJOU, BABALU BREAKING FOR BABY. MMAWEEKLY.com (2009-01-23). Archived from the original on 2009-01-30. Retrieved on 2009-01-25.
- ↑ Following Birth of Daughter, 'Babalu' Refocuses on Busy Fight Schedule. MMAFANHOUSE.com (2009-06-06). Retrieved on 2009-08-24.
- ↑ MMA WEEKLY - Your #1 Source for Daily MMA News, Interviews, Multimedia, and More: - BABALU ARRESTED
- ↑ Gracie Barra Cerritos.
- ↑ Still I Rise. Retrieved on October 23, 2009.