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Renato Sobral

Name Renato Sobral
Nickname Babalu
Association Gracie Barra Combat Team
Weight Class Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.)
Height 6′ 1″ (186cm)
Style Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai
Birth Date September 7, 1975
Fighting Out Of Costa Mesa, California
Country Brazil
Renato Sobral Pictures Official Website

”’Renato “Babalu” Da Cunha Sobral”’ is a Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter who is noted for his aggressive style, grappling prowess, and high-caliber submissions. He is the former [[Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship | Light Heavyweight Champion]]. Sobral previously fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) where he posted a 6-4 record, where he fought for the UFC Light Heavyweight title, before questionable actions caused the UFC to release him. He is a member of the Gracie Barra Combat Team 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.

== Professional Record ==

Record 37 – 10 – 0 (Win â€Â“ Loss â€Â“ Draw)
Wins 5 (T)KOs
19 Submissions
13 Decisions
Losses 6 (T)KOs
1 Submissions
3 Decisions
Result Opponent Method Event Title Date Round Time Notes
Loss Mikhail Zayats TKO (Punches) Bellator 85 Chandler vs Hawn 1/17/2013 1 4:49 Bellator Season Eight Light Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round
Win Tatsuya Mizuno Submission (Armbar) One FC 4 Destiny of Warriors 6/23/2012 1 0:31
Loss Dan Henderson KO (Punches) Strikeforce Henderson vs Babalu 2 12/04/2010 1 1:53
Win Robbie Lawler Decision (Unanimous) Strikeforce Los Angeles 6/16/2010 3 5:00 Catchweight bout (195 lbs.)
Loss Gegard Mousasi KO (Punches) Strikeforce Carano vs Cyborg 8/15/2009 1 1:00 Lost Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship
Win Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou Submission (Brabo Choke) Affliction Day of Reckoning 1/24/2009 2 2:36
Win Bobby Southworth TKO (Doctor Stoppage – Cut) Strikeforce Destruction 11/21/2008 1 5:00 Won Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship
Win Mike Whitehead Decision (Unanimous) Affliction Banned 7/19/2008 3 5:00
Win Rodney Glunder Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) PFP: Ring of Fire 12/09/2007 1 0:27
Win David Heath Submission (Anaconda Choke) UFC 74 Respect 8/25/2007 2 3:30 N.S.A.C fined Babalu $25,000 for initially refusing to release the hold; These actions resulted in Babalu’s release from the UFC
Loss Jason Lambert KO (Punch) UFC 68 The Uprising 3/03/2007 2 3:26
Loss Chuck Liddell TKO (Punches) UFC 62 Liddell vs Sobral 8/26/2006 1 1:35 For UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Win Mike Van Arsdale Submission (Rear Naked Choke) UFC 57 Liddell vs Couture 3 2/04/2006 1 2:21
Win Chael Sonnen Submission (Triangle Choke) UFC 55 Fury 10/07/2005 2 1:20 Avenged previous loss
Win Travis Wiuff Submission (Armbar) UFC 52 Couture vs Liddell 2 4/16/2005 2 0:24
Win Pierre Guillet Submission (Punches) CR 10: Deliverance 2/26/2005 1 1:57
Win Cyrille Diabate Submission (Guillotine Choke) CR 9: No Mercy 11/27/2004 1 3:38
Win Jose Landi-Jons Decision (Unanimous) JF 3: Jungle Fight 3 10/23/2004 3 5:00
Win Jeremy Horn Decision (Unanimous) IFC: Global Domination 9/06/2003 3 5:00 IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Finals; Won Tournament
Win Mauricio Rua Submission (Guillotine Choke) IFC: Global Domination 9/06/2003 3 3:07 IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final
Win Trevor Prangley Decision (Unanimous) IFC: Global Domination 9/06/2003 3 5:00 IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round
Win Marcelo Azevedo Decision (Unanimous) Heat FC 1: Genesis 7/31/2003 3 5:00
Loss Chuck Liddell KO (Head Kick) UFC 40 Vendetta 11/22/2002 1 2:55
Win Elvis Sinosic Decision (Unanimous) UFC 38 Brawl at the Hall 7/13/2002 3 5:00
Loss Kevin Randleman Decision (Unanimous) UFC 35 Throwdown 1/11/2002 3 5:00
Loss Fedor Emelianenko Decision (Unanimous) Rings: 10th Anniversary 8/11/2001 2 5:00
Win Tsuyoshi Kohsaka Decision (Majority) Rings: World Title Series 2 6/15/2001 2 5:00
Win Kiyoshi Tamura Decision (Majority) Rings: King of Kings 2000 Final 2/24/2001 2 5:00
Win Maurice Smith Decision (Unanimous) UFC 28 High Stakes 11/17/2000 3 5:00
Loss Valentijn Overeem Submission (Toe Hold) Rings: King of Kings 2000 Block A 10/09/2000 1 2:19
Win Tariel Bitsadze Submission (Armbar) Rings: King of Kings 2000 Block A 10/09/2000 1 2:58
Win Hiromitsu Kanehara Decision (Unanimous) Rings: Millennium Combine 2 6/15/2000 2 5:00
Win Jacob Zobnin Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Rings Russia 5/20/2000 1 3:20
Win Travis Fulton Submission (Armbar) Rings: Millennium Combine 1 4/20/2000 1 4:49
Loss Dan Henderson Decision (Majority) Rings: King of Kings 1999 Final 2/26/2000 2 5:00 For RINGS King of Kings Tournament Winner
Win Kiyoshi Tamura Decision (Majority) Rings: King of Kings 1999 Final 2/26/2000 2 5:00
Win Mikhail Illoukhine Submission (Armbar) Rings: King of Kings 1999 Final 2/26/2000 3 0:40
Win Brad Kohler KO (Soccer Kick) WEF 8: Goin’ Platinum 1/15/2000 2 0:50
Win Lee Hasdell Decision (Unanimous) Ring: King of Kings 1999 Block A 10/28/1999 2 5:00
Win Zaza Tkeshelashvili Submission (Kimura) Rings: King of Kings 1999 Block A 10/28/1999 2 1:11
Win Dario Amorim Submission (Punches) BVF 14: Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5 7/24/1999 1 2:14
Win Pedro Otavio Submission (Punches) BVF 14: Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5 7/24/1999 1 4:34
Win Augusto Menezes Santos Submission (Keylock) BVF 14: Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5 7/24/1999 1 0:56
Win Fernando Cerchiari KO (Punches) IVC 8: The Road Back to the Top 1/20/1999 1 4:41
Win Marco Vinicios TKO (Retirement) Desafio: Rio vs Sao Paulo 9/27/1997 2 4:58
Win Manoel Vicente TKO (Punches and Stom) Desafio: Rio vs Sao Paulo 9/27/1997 1 6:27
Win Claudio Palma Submission (Leg Kick) Desafio: Rio vs Sao Paulo 9/27/1997 1 2:08

== Mixed Martial Arts Career ==
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.

=== UFC Career ===
Sobral made his UFC debut at UFC 28, against Maurice Smith. He defeated Smith via unanimous decision.

He then fought outside of the promotion a few times before returning at UFC 35, only to lose to Kevin Randleman. After a win against Elvis Sinosic he lost via vicious KO (Head Kick) to Chuck Liddell. Once again Sobral left the promotion to compete outside the octagon, winning the IFC Light Heavyweight tournament.

Sobral would once again return to the UFC at UFC 52 Couture vs Liddell 2 against Travis Wiuff, winning via Armbar. Two more wins over Chael Sonnen and Mike Van Arsdale earned him a title shot against a man who had previously beat him, Chuck Liddell.

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 0:95 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 Controversy ===
Sobral’s next fight was at UFC 74 against David Heath. The first round consisted of Sobral ground and pounding Heath, opening a cut which bled profusely. In the second round, Sobral secured another takedown and then worked to an Anaconda Choke. Heath quickly tapped out, but Sobral continued to hold the 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 commentator 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 ===
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 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 the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion.

Sobral next fought his second fight for Affliction, this time against Rameau Thierry 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.

It had been announced that Sobral was set to fight fellow Brazilian [[Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante]] at the upcoming event Strikeforce Lawler vs Shields in St. Louis, Missouri on June 6, 2009. The bout was to be for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship, but it was postponed when it was learned that Sobral’s wife was to give birth on or around May 24, 2009.

In late June of 2009, Tito Ortiz announced he was close to signing with Strikeforce and that a fight against Sobral was a possibility for his first fight with the promotion.

Sobral then was expected to fight Gegard Mousasi at Affliction Trilogy on August 1, 2009, but the event was cancelled when Josh Barnett, who was expected to fight WAMMA Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko, tested positive for anabolic steroids, and according to Tom Atencio, they just “didn’t have enough time to promote a new fight to our standards.” The fight would still go on, but not under the Affliction banner, but it would take place at the August 15, 2009 Strikeforce Carano vs Cyborg fight card. Sobral would go on to lose his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship to Mousasi at one minute of the first round via TKO (Punches).

It was then learned mid-March 2010 that Sobral would most likely return to action for DREAM‘s Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, that would feature the likes of two fighters Sobral has already faced; Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and the man who took his Strikeforce belt, Gegard Mousasi. DREAM pushed the Grand Prix back, so Sobral would instead return at Strikeforce Los Angeles in a Catchweight bout of 195 lbs. against Robbie Lawler. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker made it clear in pre-fight interviews that the bout had major title implications for both fighters respective weight classes. If Lawler is to win, he would get a shot at current Middleweight Champion Jake Shields, unless Shields negotiations with the UFC, in which case, Lawler will face off against Ronaldo Souza for the vacant title. If Sobral were to win, he will get a title shot at current Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammed Lawal.

Sobral went on to win the fight by Decision (Unanimous), as he out-boxed Lawler for three rounds, using constant low kicks, straight punches and shots to the body to slow down his opponent, and earn points. After the win Sobral declined to challenge Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, friend, and training partner, Muhammed Lawal, and instead opted to request a fight with Dan Henderson.

: “I won’t never punch and try to hurt my friends, but I would like to ask for a fight, and all the respect that I have, in the beginning of my career I fought Dan Henderson in Japan and lost to him,” Babalu said.

The fight Sobral referred to was the finale of a one-night “King of Kings” tournament held in the Rings organization. With each already having two fights under their belt that night, Sobral and Henderson met in the finals with Henderson picking up the majority decision win in a razor close bout.

: “I don’t want to disrespect, but I would like to fight him. It’s going to be 11 years since I fought him. It’s a long time, and please, it would be an honor to fight him again, to have the chance to fight Dan Henderson,” said Sobral.

== Accomplishments and Championships ==
* RINGS 2000 King of Kings Tournament Finalist (2000)
* IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Winner (2003)
* Former UFC Light Heavyweight title challenger (2006)
* Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion (2008)

== Personal Life ==
Renato and his wife Natasha have a daughter named Maria Fernanda and are currently expecting their second child, a daughter to be named Sofia, in April 2009.

His nickname comes from a brand of bubblegum that he used to chew (Bubbaloo).

Sobral was arrested on July 14, 2007 for misdemeanor battery and trespassing at the Seminole Indian Reservation Casino after allegedly spitting on a bouncer outside a club.

In October 2008 he opened his own gym, Gracie Barra Cerritos, in Cerritos, California.

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