From a press release in my inbox:
NEW YORK (July 27, 2009)--The highly-anticipated showdown between Renato "Babalu" Sobral (35-8) and Gegard Mousasi (25-2-1), which was suddenly cancelled by its original promoter last week, has been revitalized and will be contested with Sobral's STRIKEFORCE World Light Heavyweight (205 pounds) Championship on the line at San Jose, California's HP Pavilion on Saturday, August 15.
The title bout will be featured during the SHOWTIME televised portion of the STRIKEFORCE: "Carano vs. Cyborg" mixed martial arts (MMA) mega-card.
"I am very happy that STRIKEFORCE has resurrected this fight and that I will have the opportunity to become STRIKEFORCE world champion," said Mousasi, who is in the midst of a monstrous, 12 fight win streak. The 23-year-old was crowned the first Dream Middleweight Champion and Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament Champion last year in Japan.
"STRIKEFORCE is one of the world's top promotions and I am proud to be a part of their roster of world-class fighters," he said.
What a superb addition to this card. Provided Strikeforce can find a reasonable opponent for Nick Diaz, this card gains some considerable heft with another title fight, the addition of premier international talent to the event (if not the roster for further bouts) and a moderately recognizable name to casual fans (he's adored by hardcores) in Renato Sobral. An excellent move by Strikeforce to make this fight happen, particularly the speed with which the fight was arranged. And this is the sort of signing that makes one reconsider how detrimental or influential Coker's European travels have been. A merger between Strikeforce and Affliction may have fallen through, but that arrangement had considerable risks. By contrast, this one is a no-brainer. Well played, Strikeforce.