Renato Sobral

Ortiz, “Babalu” Come Face-to-Face

Tito Ortiz. Photo courtesy of

The unspoken dislike between former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and Renato “Babalu” Sobral may have been turned up a notch on Saturday night after the two exchanged words in the crowd during Strikeforce’s “Shamrock vs. Diaz” event in San Jose.

During an intermission before the televised portion of the card was to air on Showtime, Sobral approached Ortiz and the two began exchanging words, possibly concerning a proposed fight between the two that was once expected to take place under the Affliction banner last year but never came to fruition.

Once “Babalu” became visibly heated and didn’t seem to be content to leave Ortiz alone, fellow veteran fighter Joe Riggs came over and separated the two. has a brief clip of the incident.

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Fedor KO’s Arlovski at “Day of Reckoning”

Fedor Emelianenko. Photo by Tracy Lee/

Quick results for Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” show last night are below. Fedor Emelianenko scored a first-round knockout of former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski to retain his WAMMA heavyweight belt in the main event. More coverage to come.

Brett Cooper def. Patrick Speight - TKO (Strikes)
Albert Rios def. Antonio Duarte - Unanimous Decision
L.C. Davis def. Bao Quach - Unanimous Decision
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Vladimir Matyushenko - KO (Knee)
Dan Lauzon def. Bobby Green - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Paul Buentello def. Kirill Sidelnikov - TKO (Doctor Stoppage)
Renato Sobral def. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou - Submission
Vitor Belfort def. Matt Lindland - KO (Punches)
Josh Barnett def. Gilbert Yvel - Submission (Strikes)
Fedor Emelianenko def. Andrei Arlovski - KO (Punch)

Previewing Affliction: Can Arlovski Defeat the King of Heavyweights?

Andrei Arlovski. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Now that perennial heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko has returned to fighting viable competition, he will face his biggest test in over three years in the form of a newly-confident and conditioned Andrei Arlovski at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event this Saturday night.

Critics continually slammed Emelianenko for his choice of opponents after his hard-fought decision win over Mirko Filipovic in August 2005, but the Russian silenced them with a 36-second destruction of Tim Sylvia, a man that has twice beaten Arlovski, this past July. However in a rare instance, it’s Arlovski’s own trainers that are questioning the fan-favorite in the weeks leading up to his toughest challenge to date.

Arlovski has been spending the majority of his training camp learning how to box under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, who has trained champion boxers such as Manny Pacquiao, Bernard Hopkins, and Oscar De La Hoya among others, and his usual coaches, such as jiu-jitsu specialist Dino Costeas, have been left with a limited amount of time to work with their client.

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Hungry Like a Wolf: Babalu vs. Sokoudjou

Renato Sobral. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Seal Beach, CA — There is only one meaningful question to ask about the upcoming fight between Babalu and Sokoudjou: will it be won by strikes or submission? Renato “Babalu” Sobral (31-7) and Rameau “The African Assassin” Sokoudjou (5-3) will meet on January 24th at Affliction M1 “Day of Reckoning” at Honda Center in Anaheim to engage in battle as part of the event’s main card.

The fight pits Babalu’s well-honed Jiu-Jitsu skills and veteran experience against Sokoudjou’s exploding strength and dangerously potent striking skills. Both fierce combatants attack with an animal ferocity that combines technique and heart in a brutal assault on opponents.

Famous for his grappling prowess, relentless fighting style, and high-caliber submissions in the ring, Brazilian import “Babalu” Sobral is a six-foot one, two hundred and five pound Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who shows no mercy in the ring. Out of the ring, Sobral follows one of the most intense training regimens, ranging from lifting weights (even bench-pressing fellow workout partners), to running up steep mountains, and swimming over 2000 yards in one hour.

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Video: “Babalu”, Sokoudjou Discuss Upcoming Battle

In the above video courtesy of Showtime Sports, former UFC title challenger Renato “Babalu” Sobral and one-time PRIDE upstart Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou discuss their upcoming light heavyweight bout, which will take place at Affliction Entertainment’s “Day of Reckoning show on January 24 in Anaheim, California.

“Babalu” vs. Sokoudjou Added to “Day of Reckoning”

Rameau Sokoudjou. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Affliction Entertainment has added a light heavyweight bout to its upcoming “Day of Reckoning” show on January 24 as UFC and PRIDE Fighting Championships veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou will face Renato “Babalu” Sobral on the event’s televised main card.

The bout is currently listed on the event’s official website, however various sources are reporting that Affliction VP Tom Atencio has stated that the bout is not yet official - both fighters have agreed to fight, but bout agreements and additional paperwork have yet to be completed.

Sokoudjou, who currently trains at Team Quest’s Temecula, California location along with Dan Henderson, joins the Affliction stable of fighters following his recent release from the UFC, where he went 1-2 over the past year.

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Strikeforce Destruction Weigh Ins

San Jose, CA. —Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith (13-5) weighed in at 185 ½ lbs. and his opponent, Terry Martin (18-5), tipped the scales at 186 lbs. one day before their meeting at Strikeforce “Destruction,” the mixed martial arts mega-event at San Jose’s HP Pavilion.

Strikeforce World Light Heavyweight (205 lb. limit) Champion Bobby Southworth (9-5) and his opponent, Renato “Babalu” Sobral (30-7), both registered in at 204 lbs.  Knockout artists and opponents Duane “Bang” Ludwig (17-8) and Yves Edwards (34-14-1) weighed in at 163 lbs. and 164 lbs, respectively.

The following are the official fighter weights from today’s weigh-ins at Hotel DeAnza:

Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith – 185.5 lbs. vs Terry Martin – 186 lbs.
Bobby Southworth – 204 lbs. vs Renato “Babalu” Sobral – 204 lbs.
Duane “Bang” Ludwig – 163 lbs. vs Yves Edwards – 164 lbs.
Kim “Sugar Free” Couture – 132 lbs. vs Lina Kvokov – 133 lbs.
Joe “Diesel” Riggs – 170.5 lbs. vs Luke Stewart – 170.5 lbs.
Brad Royster – 134 lbs. vs Darren “Bone Crusher” Uyenoyama – 136 lbs.
Nik Theotikos – 185.5 lbs. vs Luke Rockhold – 185.5 lbs.
Zakary Bucia – 169 lbs. vs Adam Steele – 168 lbs.
Alvin Cacdac – 143 lbs. vs Jose Palacios – 145 lbs.
Lemont Davis – 173 lbs. vs Brian Schwartz – 175 lbs.
Josh Neal – 184 lbs. vs Kurt “Rhino” Osiander – 185 lbs.
Bobby Stack – 155 lbs. vs Cyrillo Padilha – 156 lbs.
Tony Johnson – 184 lbs. vs Eric Lawson – 185 lbs.

HP Pavilion doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for Strikeforce “Destruction” and the first preliminary bout will begin at 6 p.m.  The main card will commence at 7:30 p.m.

The live HDNet telecast of Strikeforce “Destruction” will begin at 10 p.m. EST (7 p.m. PST).

Affliction’s Day of Reckoning Shaping Up

Tickets go on sale tomorrow for Affliction Entertainment’s second PPV effort, Day of Reckoning.  The fight card will feature Fedor Emelianenko defending his WAMMA Heavyweight Championship against former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Andre “The Pitbull” Arlovski.  The event is set to take place on January 24, 2009 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. 

Main Card live on Showtime PPV
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski
Josh Barnett vs. TBA
Matt Lindland vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral
Chris Horodecki vs. Dan Lauzon
Vitor Belfort vs. TBA

Undercard live on HDNet
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Paul Buentello vs. Kiril Sidelnikov
Brett Cooper vs TBA
Albert Rios vs Antonio Duarte
Mark Hominick vs LC Davis
Jay Hieron vs. Jason High

Babalu on Southworth: “This Was the Biggest Mistake of His Career”

SAN JOSE, Calif. — There isn’t another fighter in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) whose physical appearance coincides with his character more so than that of Renato “Babalu” Sobral (30-7).  At 33 years of age, the Brazilian native and Jiu-Jitsu black belt has firmly ingrained in the minds of his followers a look and demeanor that, coupled together, amount to a pretty startling and somewhat scary individual.

Less than a week out from his long-awaited showdown with Strikeforce World Light Heavyweight (205 lb. limit) Champion, Bobby Southworth (9-5), a notorious rogue in his own right, Sobral is spewing words indicating his firm intention to humble the defending crown holder.

“Bobby called me out and I gladly accepted the challenge,” said Sobral.  “On Friday, the world will learn what Bobby already knows – that this was the biggest mistake of his career.”

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Strikeforce Announces “Destruction” Event

Renato Sobral. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Southworth vs. “Babalu” Greenlit For Nov. 21st: Riggs battles Stewart, tickets for Strikeforce “Destruction” on sale Monday

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Only two months after injuries to both fighters postponed their scheduled showdown, a healthy Strikeforce World Light Heavyweight (205 lb. limit) Champion, Bobby Southworth (9-5), will make his highly anticipated title defense against surgically repaired superstar, Renato “Babalu” Sobral (30-7), in the main event of Strikeforce “Destruction” at San Jose’s HP Pavilion on Friday, November 21st.

Joe “Diesel” Riggs (28-11) will make his return to the welterweight (170 lb. limit) division in a featured contest with Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, Luke Stewart (6-1). Strikeforce World Lightweight (155 lb. limit) Champion, Josh “The Punk” Thomson (16-2), will set out to defend his crown for the first time and notch his ninth consecutive victory against an opponent to be announced.

“It’s my title and I plan on defending it,” said Southworth, who had originally been slated to put his belt on the line against Sobral in the main event of Strikeforce’s second affair at the world-famous Playboy Mansion on September 20th. Stabilization problems stemming from a past knee injury, however, sidelined Southworth. “The stabilization in my knee is back and so is my strength.”

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