Renato Sobral

Renato (ʀ̥e.ˈna.tu) "Babalu" Da Cunha Sobral (born September 7, 1975 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a mixed martial arts fighter from Brazil, who has previously fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is a member of the Gracie Barra Combat Team with a professional MMA record of 30 wins and 7 losses, with 15 victories coming by way of submission. 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'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.

Sobral is known throughout the UFC for his intense and grueling training regimen, which typically involves bench-pressing fellow workout partners, running up the steep mountains of Brazil and swimming 2000 meters in an hour.

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. Sobral went on to defeat former UFC Heavyweight champion Frank Mir in a special submission grappling superfight at Tuff-N-Uff's "Unarmed Combat" event on June 22, 2007. Sobral won the bout by points (6-2).

UFC 74 controversy

Sobral's next fight was at UFC 74 against David Heath. The first round consisted of devastating ground and pound from Sobral, which left Heath and the octagon drenched in blood. (Probably one of the bloodiest fights in UFC history.) In the second round, Sobral secured another takedown followed by a submission by Anaconda Choke. Despite referee Steve Mazzagatti's attempts to break Sobral's choke, Sobral held onto it for four more seconds after Heath tapped out, resulting in him losing consciousness. 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.

Future After The UFC

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 has recently signed with Affliction Clothing's MMA promotion and appeared at Affliction: Banned on July 19, defeating Mike Whitehead by unanimous decision. In his next fight on October 11 he rumored to be going up against former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz at Affliction: Day of Reckoning, the promotions second event. This fight has not yet been confirmed however, and Tito has stated he has not yet been signed by Affliction.

Personal life

Sobral has a daughter named Maria Fernanda, whose name is tattooed on his chest.

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

Sobral was also arrested on July 14, 2007 for misdemeanor battery and trespassing at the Seminole Indian Reservation Casino.

MMA record

Date Result Opponent Event Method Round Time Notes
7/19/2008 Win Mike Whitehead Affliction: Banned Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
12/9/2007 Win Rodney Faverus Ring of Fire Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) 1 ?
8/25/2007 Win David Heath UFC 74: Respect Submission (anaconda choke) 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.
3/3/2007 Loss Jason Lambert UFC 68: The Uprising KO (Punch) 2 3:36
8/26/2006 Loss Chuck Liddell UFC 62: Liddell vs Sobral TKO (Strikes) 1 1:35 For UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
2/4/2006 Win Mike Van Arsdale UFC 57-Liddell vs Couture 3 Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 1 2:21
10/7/2005 Win Chael Sonnen UFC 55-Fury Submission (Triangle Choke) 2 1:20
4/16/2005 Win Travis Wiuff UFC 52-Couture vs Liddell 2 Submission (Armbar) 2 0:24
2/26/2005 Win Pierre Guillet Cage Rage 10-Deliverance Submission (Strikes) 1 1:57
11/27/2004 Win Cyrille Diabate Cage Rage 9-No Mercy Submission (Choke) 1 3:38
10/23/2004 Win Jose Landi-Jons JF 3-Jungle Fight 3 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
9/6/2003 Win Jeremy Horn IFC-Global Domination Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Final
9/6/2003 Win Mauricio Rua IFC-Global Domination Submission (Guillotine Choke) 3 3:07 IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final
9/6/2003 Win Trevor Prangley IFC-Global Domination Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarter-Final
7/31/2003 Win Marcelo Azevedo Heat FC 1-Genesis Decision 3 5:00
11/22/2002 Loss Chuck Liddell UFC 40-Vendetta KO (Head Kick) 1 2:55
7/13/2002 Win Elvis Sinosic UFC 38-Brawl at the Hall Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
1/11/2002 Loss Kevin Randleman UFC 35-Throwdown Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00
8/11/2001 Loss Fedor Emelianenko RINGS-10th Anniversary Decision (Unanimous) 2 5:00
6/15/2001 Win Tsuyoshi Kohsaka RINGS-World Title Series 2 Decision (Majority) 2 5:00
2/24/2001 Win Kiyoshi Tamura RINGS-King of Kings 2000 Final Decision (Majority) 2 5:00
11/17/2000 Win Maurice Smith UFC 28 - High Stakes Decision 3 5:00
10/9/2000 Loss Valentijn Overeem RINGS-King of Kings 2000 Block A Submission (Toe Hold) 1 2:19
10/9/2000 Win Tariel Bitsadze RINGS-King of Kings 2000 Block A Submission (Armbar) 1 2:58
6/15/2000 Win Hiromitsu Kanehara RINGS-Millennium Combine 2 Decision (Unanimous) 2 5:00
5/20/2000 Win Jacob Zobnin RINGS Russia-Rings Russia Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 1 3:20
4/20/2000 Win Travis Fulton RINGS-Millennium Combine 1 Submission (Armbar) 1 4:49
2/26/2000 Loss Dan Henderson RINGS-King of Kings 1999 Final Decision (Majority) 2 5:00
2/26/2000 Win Kiyoshi Tamura RINGS-King of Kings 1999 Final Decision (Majority) 2 5:00
2/26/2000 Win Mikhail Illoukhine RINGS-King of Kings 1999 Final Submission (Armbar) 3 0:40
1/15/2000 Win Brad Kohler World Extreme Fighting - 8-Goin' Platinum KO (Kick) 2 0:50
10/28/1999 Win Lee Hasdell RINGS-King of Kings 1999 Block A Decision (Unanimous) 2 5:00
10/28/1999 Win Zaza Tkeshelashvili RINGS-King of Kings 1999 Block A Submission (kimura) 2 1:11
7/24/1999 Win Dario Amorim BVF 14-Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5 Submission (Punches) 1 2:14
7/24/1999 Win Pedro Otavio BVF 14-Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5 Submission (Punches) 1 4:34
7/24/1999 Win Augusto Menezes Santos BVF 14-Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5 Submission (Keylock) 1 0:56
1/20/1999 Win Fernando Cerchiari IVC 8-The Road Back to the Top KO (Punches) 1 4:41

See also


External links

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