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Renato ( ) Sobral-de Cuinha (born September 7, 1975 in Rio de Janeiromarker, Brazilmarker) is a Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter, and former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion. He is noted for his aggressive style, grappling prowess, and high-caliber submissions. Sobral previously fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship where he posted a 6-4 record. 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.

MMA 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.


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.

UFC 74 controversy

Sobral's next fight was at UFC 74 against David Heath. The first round consisted of Sobral ground and pounding Heath. In the second round, he opened a cut on Heath's forehead which bled profusely. Sobral secured another takedown and then worked to an anaconda choke. Heath quickly tapped out, but Sobral continued to hold the anacondachoke, 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 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.

After the UFC

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 Mansionmarker 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 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 Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion.

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

Sobral was set to fight fellow Brazilian Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante at the past event Strikeforce Presents: Lawler Vs. Shields in St. Louis, Missouri on June 6, 2009, but the bout was scratched. The bout would have been for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship.

Sobral was next set to make his third appearance for Affliction in a fight against Gegard Mousasi at Affliction: Trilogy, but the event was canceled after losing its main event. The fight was then moved to Strikeforce's August 15 card, Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg and changed into a Light Heavy Weight bout for the Light-Heavyweight Championship with Sobral as the title holder. Sobral lost the title to Mousasi by first round Knockout.

Personal life

Renato and his wife Natasha have two daughters named Maria Fernanda and Sophia, who was born in May 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, Californiamarker.

Appeared in the video for Still I Rise by the American heavy metal band Shadows Fall.

MMA record

Record Date Result Opponent Event Method Round Time Location Notes
35–9 2009-08-15 Loss Gegard Mousasi Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg KO (Strikes) 1 1:00 San Jose, Californiamarker Lost Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship
35–8 2009-01-24 Win Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou Affliction: Day of Reckoning Submission (Anaconda Choke) 2 2:36 Anaheim, Californiamarker, US
34–8 2008-11-21 Win Bobby Southworth Strikeforce: Destruction TKO (Cut) 1 5:00 San Jose, Californiamarker, US Won Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion
33–8 2008-07-19 Win Mike Whitehead Affliction: Banned Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 Anaheim, Californiamarker, US
32–8 2007-12-09 Win Rodney Glunder Ring of Fire Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) 1 0:27 Manila, Philippinesmarker
31–8 2007-08-25 Win David Heath UFC 74: Respect Submission (anaconda choke) 2 3:30 Las Vegas, Nevada, US Sobral was released from the UFC for refusing to release the choke after referee stoppage of the fight.
30–8 2007-03-03 Loss Jason Lambert UFC 68: The Uprising KO (Punch) 2 3:26 Columbus, Ohiomarker, US
30–7 2006-08-26 Loss Chuck Liddell UFC 62: Liddell vs Sobral TKO (Punches) 1 1:35 Las Vegas, Nevada, US For UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
30–6 2006-02-04 Win Mike Van Arsdale UFC 57: Liddell vs Couture 3 Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 1 2:21 Las Vegas, Nevada, US
29–6 2005-10-07 Win Chael Sonnen UFC 55: Fury Submission (Triangle Choke) 2 1:20 Uncasville, Connecticutmarker, US
28–6 2005-04-16 Win Travis Wiuff UFC 52: Couture vs Liddell 2 Submission (Armbar) 2 0:24 Las Vegas, Nevada, US
27–6 2005-02-26 Win Pierre Guillet Cage Rage 10-Deliverance Submission (Strikes) 1 1:57 London, Englandmarker, UK
26–6 2004-11-27 Win Cyrille Diabate Cage Rage 9-No Mercy Submission (Choke) 1 3:38 London, Englandmarker, UK
25–6 2004-10-23 Win Jose Landi-Jons JF 3-Jungle Fight 3 Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 Manausmarker, Brazilmarker
24–6 2003-09-06 Win Jeremy Horn IFC-Global Domination Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 Denver, Coloradomarker, US IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Final
23–6 2003-09-06 Win Mauricio Rua IFC-Global Domination Submission (Guillotine Choke) 3 3:07 Denver, Coloradomarker, US IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal
22–6 2003-09-06 Win Trevor Prangley IFC-Global Domination Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 Denver, Coloradomarker, US IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal
21–6 2003-07-31 Win Marcelo Azevedo Heat FC 1-Genesis Decision 3 5:00 Natalmarker, Brazil
20–6 2003-05-02 Loss Chael Sonnen Heat FC 1-Genesis Decision 3 5:00 Santa Ana, Californiamarker, US
20–5 2002-11-22 Loss Chuck Liddell UFC 40: Vendetta KO (head kick) 1 2:55 Las Vegas, Nevadamarker, US
20–4 2002-07-13 Win Elvis Sinosic UFC 38: Brawl at the Hall Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 London, Englandmarker, UK
19–4 2002-01-11 Loss Kevin Randleman UFC 35: Throwdown Decision (Unanimous) 3 5:00 Uncasville, Connecticutmarker, US
19–3 2001-08-11 Loss Fedor Emelianenko Rings-10th Anniversary Decision (Unanimous) 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
19–2 2001-06-15 Win Tsuyoshi Kohsaka Rings-World Title Series 2 Decision (Majority) 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
18–2 2001-02-24 Win Kiyoshi Tamura Rings-King of Kings 2000 Final Decision (Majority) 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
17–2 2000-11-17 Win Maurice Smith UFC 28: High Stakes Decision 3 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jerseymarker, US
16–2 2000-10-09 Loss Valentijn Overeem Rings-King of Kings 2000 Block A Submission (Toe Hold) 1 2:19 Tokyo, Japan
16–1 2000-10-09 Win Tariel Bitsadze Rings-King of Kings 2000 Block A Submission (Armbar) 1 2:58 Tokyo, Japan
15–1 2000-06-15 Win Hiromitsu Kanehara Rings-Millennium Combine 2 Decision (Unanimous) 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
14–1 2000-05-20 Win Jacob Zobnin Rings Russia-Rings Russia Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 1 3:20 Tokyo, Japan
13–1 2000-04-20 Win Travis Fulton Rings-Millennium Combine 1 Submission (Armbar) 1 4:49 Tokyo, Japan
12–1 2000-02-26 Loss Dan Henderson Rings-King of Kings 1999 Final Decision (Majority) 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
12–0 2000-02-26 Win Kiyoshi Tamura Rings-King of Kings 1999 Final Decision (Majority) 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
11–0 2000-02-26 Win Mikhail Illoukhine Rings-King of Kings 1999 Final Submission (Armbar) 3 0:40 Tokyo, Japan
10–0 2000-01-15 Win Brad Kohler World Extreme Fighting – 8-Goin' Platinum KO (Soccer Kick to the head) 2 0:50 Romemarker, Georgiamarker
9–0 1999-10-28 Win Lee Hasdell Rings-King of Kings 1999 Block A Decision (Unanimous) 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
8–0 1999-10-28 Win Zaza Tkeshelashvili Rings-King of Kings 1999 Block A Submission (kimura) 2 1:11 Tokyo, Japan
7–0 1999-07-24 Win Dario Amorim BVF 14-Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5 Submission (Punches) 1 2:14 Brazil
6–0 1999-07-24 Win Pedro Otavio BVF 14-Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5 Submission (Punches) 1 4:34 Brazil
5–0 1999-07-24 Win Augusto Menezes Santos BVF 14-Circuito Brasileiro de Vale Tudo 5 Submission (Keylock) 1 0:56 Brazil
4–0 1999-01-20 Win Fernando Cerchiari IVC 8-The Road Back to the Top KO (Punches) 1 4:41 Aracajumarker, Brazil
3–0 1997-09-27 Win Marco Vinicios Desafio – Rio vs. São Paulo TKO (Retirement) 2 4:58 Brazil
2–0 1997-09-27 Win Manoel Vicente Desafio – Rio vs. São Paulo TKO (Punches and Stomp) 1 6:27 Brazil
1–0 1997-09-27 Win Claudio Palma Desafio – Rio vs. São Paulo Submission (Leg Kicks) 1 2:08 Brazil

See also


  2. MMA WEEKLY - Your #1 Source for Daily MMA News, Interviews, Multimedia, and More: - BABALU ARRESTED

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