Renato Sobral

Mike Whitehead Training for Affliction: Banned

Report: Sobral to Make HCF Debut in May


Renato Sobral weighs-in for UFC 74: Respect. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

After signing a contract with the promotion over five months ago, former UFC light heavyweight title contender Renato “Babalu” Sobral will finally make his debut for Hardcore Championship Fighting on May 10th.

The news comes from a report by Gleidson Venga of Sherdog.

Sobral will reportedly be fighting Mauricio Alonso at the event. Since dropping a decision to Flavio Alvaro last April, Alonso has gone on to win three consecutive fights, his last being a decision over Rafael Motta at a Predador Fight Championship event in December.

“The fight was an opportunity that I wanted, a great event,” Alonso said in the report. “Facing “Babalu” is great because he is an excellent athlete. I will strive in training to get very good.”

Sobral has only fought once since being released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship in August following his refusal to release an anaconda choke on opponent David Heath after he had already submitted during their bout at UFC 74. He submitted Rodney Faverus in December.

“Babalu” was slated to take on Vernon White in the main event of January’s infamous WCO: The Return event, which was scrapped due to insufficent funds gathered by the promoters of the event. The 32-year-old also currently has deals to fight for Xcess Fighting and Strikeforce as well.

The Weekend Ahead…

There aren’t any blockbuster events going down this weekend but there are some smaller shows that everyone should definitely follow…

Obviously the big one has to be WCO: The Return, which will take place at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, CA this Saturday night. The card is stacked with veterans of the sport, including a main event between Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Lion’s Den veteran Vernon White as you can see below:

Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Mark Kerr vs. Kauai Kupihea
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
David Loiseau vs. Leopoldo Serao
Wesley Correira vs. Jimmy Ambriz
Tiki Ghosn vs. JJ Ambrose
Virgil Zwicker vs. David Mejia
Fabio Costa vs. Carlos Fuentes
Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Armando Sanchez
Cain Velasquez vs. Tony Sylvester

As we reported yesterday, Rick Roufus was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Mark Kerr after he was not cleared by the California State Athletic Commission in time for the fight. Armando Garcia says that it has nothing to do with Roufus’ health but rather his paperwork was not done on time in order for him to be scheduled to undergo all of the necessary pre-fight tests.

WCO officials are trying to replace Roufus with Kauai Kupihea, who has racked up a 15-11 professional record that includes knockouts of Wade Shipp and Travis Wiuff. Kupihea has been tentatively approved but that not passed all of his requirements as of this morning. We will have an update on his status as soon as we receive the information.

Semmy Schilt will fight in MMA for the first time in over a year when he takes on Nandor Guelmino at the first-ever Lord of the Ring event this weekend at the Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia.

Schilt has not fought since submitting Min Soo Kim with a triangle choke at K-1 Hero’s 6 in August of 2006. Not much is known about Guelmino except that he only has three professional MMA bouts under his belt.

Sherdog has an article on Schilt’s return here.

Bonecrunch Fighting will also hold it’s first-ever event this weekend in Lakeland, Florida. The promotion uses a schedule similar to the IFL except matchups between teams will work like an elimination tournament if that makes any sense.

UFC lightweight Din Thomas will guide the Port St. Lucie Devils into action against the Tampa Terrors. The Cincinnati Norsemen and the Lakeland Blaze will clash in the other matchup. Seth Petruzelli and Josh Odom will be at the event to announce their fight between each other at the promotion’s next event in February.

KOTC and DEEP also have events scheduled for this weekend. MMA on Tap will have full results for those shows and the rest of the events that are taking place this weekend.

WCO “The Return” Features Star-Filled Card

The World Cagefighting Organization headed by Bruce Bellocchi has teamed with Valor Fighting, Xcess Fighting and Primal MMA to produce one of the greatest MMA cards seen in years! Heading the lineup is Renato “Babalu” Sobral as he makes his long awaited stateside return since his UFC departure. Babalu will take on veteran Lion’s Den fighter, Vernon “Tiger” White.

The star studded undercard features two former UFC Heavyweight Champions. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Mark “The Smashing Machine” Kerr’s return to the cage as he continues his comeback against K1 legend, Rick Roufus who is making his MMA debut. Then the bad blood boils over as former UFC Heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguiz finally meets Mike Kyle.

Also in action is Joe “Diesel” Riggs as he takes on Gracie Barra fighter Gustavo “Ximu” Machado. Wesley “Cabbage” Correia returns taking on veteran Jimmy “The Titan” Ambriz. Tiki Ghosn battles it out against Team Quest’s Dave Gardner. UFC Veteran’s, David “The Crow” Loiseau and Drew Fickett will also see action as will Antonio McKee.

“My goal is to compete with the big boys. I think you can see by the card we have put together that we are making a statement. The fans want great fights. We’re giving it to them” - Bruce Bellocchi, of The WCO.

Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Mark Kerr vs. Rick Roufus
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
Wesley Correia vs. Jimmy Ambriz
Tiki Ghosn vs. Dave Gardner
David Loiseau vs. TBA
Drew Fickett vs. TBA
Antonio McKee vs. TBA

Gracie, Shamrock, Barnett and Chivichyan to Coach in Upstart Promotion

MMAWeekly is reporting that a new MMA promotion has surfaced in Las Vegas which plans on utilizing the team format with MMA legends as the coaches.

Platinum Fighting Productions has named the event Ring of Fire and announced that the coaches will be Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Josh Barnett and Gokor Chivichyan.

Team Gracie

Cleber Luciano (1-2)
Jorge Patino (20-10-1)
Daniel Sarafian (1-0)
John Marsh (7-6)
Katrine Alendal (0-1)

Team Shamrock

Evan Dunham (4-0)
Kyacey Uscola (13-10)
Mike Whitehead (19-5)
Ricco Rodriguez (26-7)
Tonya Evinger (4-3)

Team Barnett

Koji Oishi (15-7-4)
Yuki Kondo (47-20-6)
Renato Sobral (28-7)
Jeff Monson (23-7)
Ginele Marquez (5-7-1)

Team Chivichyan

Karen Darabedyan (2-0)
August Wallen (2-1)
Rodney Faverus (24-13-3)
Hakim Goram (3-1)
Amanda Buckner (10-4-1)

The debut event titled Ring of Fire: Manila is scheduled to take place Dec. 9 at Araneta Stadium in the Philippines. Each team will battle in four events set to take place in the Philippines, Macau, Japan and China. The two best teams will then battle in the Ring of Fire finals in December 2008.

Ring of Fire: Manila
Dec. 9, 2007
Team Barnett vs. Team Chivichyan

Koji Oshi vs. Karen Darabdeyan
Yuki Kondo vs. August Wallen
Renato Sobral vs. Rodney Faverus
Jeff Monson vs. Hakim Gouram
Ginele Marquez vs. Amanda Buckner
Zach Light vs. TBA

CKA: Nov 2, 2007

News and Notes

- Our rumors page has been updated…

- Jordan Breen’s latest Koubousen Companion on Sherdog reveals that DEEP boss Shigeru Saeki is stating that Ryo Chonan’s contract with the UFC is non-exclusive and Chonan will be expected to defend his title next year:

On the topic of championship reform, Saeki also revealed that as 181-pound champion Ryo Chonan’s new UFC contract is non-exclusive, the 181-pound title will likely be on the market early next year. Saeki stated last month that he planned on having a 181-pound challenger tournament next year. But in light of recent events, that same tournament, which will likely begin in February or April, will probably be for DEEP’s divisional championship.

Update 6:09 PM: Sherdog corrected the article, stating that Chonan’s contract is exclusive, not non-exclusive.

- EliteXC President Gary Shaw confirmed that he has had preliminary talks with members of the company about a potential showdown between the two according to The Fight Network:

EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw confirmed this week he has held preliminary discussions about promoting a potential megafight between brothers Frank and Ken Shamrock within EliteXC. The two adopted brothers have expressed a willingness to fight one another in the past.

“I talked to my team about it,” Shaw said. “I would love to do brother versus brother. It would be a great promotion.”

- The IFL has announced Bart Palaszewski has agreed to terms with the on a contract that will keep him in the promotion through 2008.

- MMA Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral has signed a non-exclusive deal with Xcess Fighting. He will make his debut for the promotion on December 12th:

“I am undeniably the biggest ‘Babalu’ fan that lives,” Xcess Fighting spokesperson Bruce Bellocchi stated. “Xcess Fighting believes he has tremendous talent, and (we) are extremely proud to be able to get him back into he cage and in front of his fans so quickly.“

An opponent for Sobral and location for the event will be named in the near future.

- Asgard MMA reports that Per Eklund has signed with the UFC. Rumors have been floating around for months about Eklund’s possible signing and this can only help to certify that as being true. The deal is a four-fight, 18 month deal. Eklund is slated to fight at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England against an opponent yet to be named.

- So apparently Brad Imes has trained with Brock Lesnar in the past. Imes says that Lesnar’s game was lacking:

I think he’s got a lot of potential. His stand up is really kinda nonexistent, but he’s obviously a big powerful guy. And his ground game…I know, he’s a D-1 national champ but I think he’s pretty rusty as far as his ground game. I was able to pass guard on him, mount him, do whatever I wanted with him on the ground really. And he really didn’t feel that strong to me, granted I don’t grapple with anyone that feels strong to me.

But, I think that one of his strengths when he was in college was that he was much stronger than everyone he went up against; and heavyweights, no matter what the sport . . . it is hard to find good ones. So, I think if he sticks with it he’ll be great. I just think it was a mistake going to the UFC so quick. And I say that from someone who knows.

Radio Schedule

Full Contact Fighter Podcast - Jason Reinhardt and John Harnett

12-1 PM EST - TAGG Radio
1-3 PM EST - The Savage Dog Show
3-5 PM EST - The Beatdown
3-4 PM EST - The Fight Network Radio
9-10 PM EST - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM EST - Knockout Radio

CKA: Oct 23, 2007

I always knew that The Garv’s hands were deadly...

News and Notes

- Our rumors section has been updated.

- Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar will most “The Tuffest 25 Moments of The Ultimate Fighter” tonight at 8 PM EST on Spike TV. It will be a two-hour long special highlighting the most memorable, drama-filled, and controversial moments that have taken place during the six seasons of the reality show.

- An episode of UFC Unleashed will air at 7 PM EST on Spike TV, just before the TUF special. Three fights will be shown: Chuck Liddell vs Renato Sobral from UFC 62, Matt Hughes vs Georges St. Pierre from UFC 65, and Andrei Arlovski vs Tim Sylvia from UFC 51.

- Tickets for the first round of the IFL Grand Prix in Chicago apparently only cost $12:

In an attempt to actually fill a venue, it looks like the IFL is offering tickets to its World Grand Prix on November 3rd in Chicago for only $12. The semi-finals, held in Florida, supposedly pulled in over 7,000 attendees, but those numbers (from the IFL) can lie and it’s hard to believe they are selling these tickets if they are so cheap. But tt’s a great deal if you live in the area and there should be some exciting matchups on the card.

- MMA News is claiming that the UFC was advertising Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva on the front of the site yesterday and then removed the text later on.

- UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva has told Sherdog that he would love to fight Matt Hughes:

Prior to that loss, Hughes speculated on retiring with both the welterweight and middleweight titles. If he can get past Matt Serra (Pictures) in December, he would be primed for a middleweight showdown with Silva.

“I would love to fight Matt Hughes (Pictures) if the UFC asked me to,” the Brazilian said. “He is a great fighter, and those are the people I want to fight.”

When pressed for a breakdown of a proposed match with the former welterweight champion, Silva demurred. “I am not going to comment on that,” he said, “other than saying it would be a great fight.”

Radio Schedule

12-1 PM EST - TAGG Radio
1-3 PM EST - The Jordan Breen Show
3-5 PM EST - The Stephen Quadros Show
3-4 PM EST - The Fight Network Radio
9-10 PM EST - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM EST - Knockout Radio

CKA: Oct 3, 2007

News and Notes

- The CSAC has announced that the following fighters have tested negative for performance enhancing drugs following post-fight testing for UFC 76: Thiago Tavares, Tyson Griffin, Ryoto Machida, Anthony Johnson, and Rich Clementi. The only test results from the event that haven’t been released yet are of Chuck Liddell, Mauricio Rua, Forrest Griffin, and Keith Jardine. The results for those fighters are expected to be released later in the week.

- Josh Thomson spoke with The Fight Network concerning a possible lawsuit Thomson may file against former UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock. Shamrock reportedly called Thomson “MMA’s first openly gay fighter” during this past weekend’s Strikeforce broadcast.

“I kind of snickered about it,” Thomson said, “but I also have had some big money sponsors coming up to me and asking me whether it was true or not. That potentially could cost me money, and that, to me, is basically what I’m getting at.”

I know that Thomson has some crazy hair and his appearance on “Blind Date” didn’t really go that well but I don’t believe Thomson is gay.

Thomson and Shamrock have had a feud going for well over a year now. Thomson attributes the tension due to the fact that Shamrock was angry that fighters from the American Kickboxing Academy decided against joining a new gym that Shamrock was opening. Shamrock has claimed in the past that Thomson has been bad mouthing him for years.

- Tonight’s episode of UFC Unleashed will feature Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs Jason Lambert from UFC 68 and Houston Alexander vs Keith Jardine from UFC 71. I’m not sure what the third fight on the broadcast will be. Don’t forget that The Ultimate Fighter is on right after that.

- Punch Drunk Gamer posted a recent interview with Josh Barnett where Barnett states that he would like to fight in Pancrase:

“I would like to be fighting in Pancrase.  I would love to continue fighting there and hopefully I will get a chance to defend my belt this year.  I have had some trouble with getting promoters to honor what they agreed to and cooperate with Pancrase to get a match set-up.  So now that I am a free agent I would like to do it.”

Barnett has always noted in the past that he would like the chance to defend his belt in Pancrase as a stipulation in any contract he signs with an organization. However since talks haven’t gone anywhere with anyone, it seems that Barnett may do that before signing anywhere.

Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.

-  Ricco Rodriguez is going to headline Battle Cage Xtreme III in New Jersey on October 20th. He will take on Kauai Kupihiea for the USKBA Heavyweight Title.

- Speaking of Ricco, he’s apparently going to be a cast member of VH1’s newest reality show, Celebrity Rehab. The series debuts on January 10th.

- Fight Opinion wants you to help decide what they should discuss on their next radio show.

- In a recent interview with Sherdog’s John Lee, SpiritMC CEO Kwang Hyun Park stated that current SpiritMC Middleweight Champion Steve Bruno has signed with the UFC:

As for SpiritMC middleweight champion Steve Bruno, Park says, “As far as I know, Steve has signed with the UFC, but we have made it clear that he needs to defend his title.”

Radio Schedule

12-1 PM - Tagg Radio
1-3 PM - The Savage Dog Show
3-4 PM - Fight Network Radio
3-5 PM - The Beatdown
9-10 PM - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM - Knockout Radio

Hardcore Championship Fighting Signs Renato “Babalu” Sobral

GracieMag.com is reporting that Hardcore Championship Fighting has signed UFC veteran Renato “Babalu” Sobral. According to the report, the contract begins in December and is valid for one year.

“I still don’t know who I’m going to fight,” said Babalu, who relies on some huge names during trainings. “I’ve been training at Gracie Barra with the likes of Marcio Feitosa and Flavio ‘Cachorrinho’ Almeida,” he finished over the phone, from California.

Hardcore Championship Fighting has been on a tear lately signing the likes of Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Aleksander Emelianenko, and Dan Bobish.

Back to the Future: Strikeforce Style

It’s been a while since we’ve had one of these. I guess potential fight matchups haven’t been coming out in huge bunches lately.

Apparently a lot of news has come out of Strikeforce’s latest show at the Playboy Mansion this past weekend. The promotion announced that signing of Renato “Babalu” Sobral but that wasn’t all that was revealed courtesy of Gary Herman at 15 Rounds.

Sobral has told Herman that Strikeforce has also inked former UFC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos to contracts. Sobral stated that he would like to fight either of the two:

Sobral signed a three-fight contract with Strikeforce.

“Strikeforce is a very strong organization. They are bringing in a lot of good fighters in my weight class,” said Sobral.

According to Sobral, two other fighters headed to Strikeforce are Kevin “Monster” Randleman and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. Sobral has his sights set on both of the former Pride Fighting Championship competitors.

“I’d like to fight both Randleman and Cyborg,” Sobral said.

Sobral also stated that he expects to fight in December.

Frank Shamrock says that he expects to be back in action at some point next spring.

After Daniel Puder’s victory Saturday night, he went over and challenged K-1 veteran Bob Sapp:

“After the match, I went and told Bob Sapp I want to fight him,” Puder said.

Puder said that Sapp was more than willing to accept the challenge.

“Sapp is going to talk to Scott Coker about it. We want to make it happen,” said Puder. “I want to fight him next year.”

BodogFight Middleweight Champion Trevor Prangley noted that discussions are currently taking place in order to have him making his first title defense against Matt Lindland:

“It has been talked about,” said Prangley. “I would love to fight him.”

Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.

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