On Friday afternoon, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney announced the organization has inked light heavyweight Renato “Babalu” Sobral (Pictured) to a multi-fight contract.
Babalu will enter the organization’s 205-pound tournament in January.
“Babalu is an awesome addition to the Bellator family,” said Rebney. “He’s beaten some of the greatest fighters in the sport, and poses a tremendous threat to every fighter in our Light Heavyweight Division. From a fans perspective, he’s incredibly exciting to watch, and I’m expecting big things from Babalu in January on Spike.”
The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion owns an extensive 37-9 professional record. He has alternated between wins and losses over his past five scraps.
The 36-year-old was last seen submitting Tatsuya Mizuno at “ONE Fighting Championship: Destiny of Warriors” in June.
“I’m really happy to be a part of the Bellator family,” Sobral said. “This is my new home, and I can’t wait to get into the tournament. My only wish was that it could all be in one night, but I don’t think we can do that, so I’ll just put one more tournament under my belt, and I’m going to take this opportunity and get my shot at the Bellator world title.”
Perhaps the highlight of his 15-year career, even though it came in a TKO defeat, was in August of 2006 when he challenged then-champ Chuck Liddell for his crown at UFC 62.