Renato "Babalu" Sobral. Photo by Esther Lin, MMA Fighting.
Renato "Babalu" Sobral has not fought since 2010 and he is angry. In an interview with MMA Prime (Aaron Tru), Babalu opens up about the exasperating tumult that the the fight game has brought him in the past few months alone.
First, Babalu talks about a scheduled fight for Instinct MMA in Canada in late December that has been postponed four separate times due to opponent injury and lack of a replacement fighter. As of right now, Sobral says that the early June fight will not happen due to another opponent injury and wishes his opponent the best of luck with the recovery before going on to verbally lambast the promoter.
Babalu calls the promoter "unprofessional", "piece of crap" and that "they shouldn't be allowed to promote MMA again."
More juicy quotes and details after the jump.
In the midst of that rant, Babalu states that his job as a fighter is to train and prepare for a fight and the job of a promoter is to make sure a fight goes on and to promote the event. Both have costs, but for the fighter, it is harder to sustain a true training regimen all these months without a payday of some kind.
Continuing the emotional talk, Sobral talks about being scheduled to fight Ikuhisa Minowa at ONE FC 3 last March 31. However, when he arrived in Singapore weeks earlier to promote the fight, ONE FC suddenly changed his opponent AND weightclass without notice or explanation. From fighting Minowa at 205 lbs, Sobral was being asked to fight Melvin Manhoef at 185 lbs. Sobral makes it a point of emphasis to highlight his 15 year career of fighting anyone put before him at this point.
Sobral says that ONE FC responded to his refusal to sign the contract by calling it "TUF Brazil obligations". Further clouding the issue is the fact that Minowa fought a week after the scheduled ONE FC bout on April 7 for Super Fight League against Alexander Shlemenko.
The timing of this video is Interesting as Babalu is scheduled to headline ONE FC 4 against Tatsuya Mizuno. Within the video, Sobral also says that he is not going to fly in to promote the fight and ends with the reminder to promoters out there that if things like this happen, he can stay at home with his gym and teach instead of fighting for unstable or unreliable organizations. The video ends with the catchy "No money, no Babalu." quote.
Babalu has always been a highly emotional fighter and his 36-9 record is filled with legends of the game. His IFC battles on September 6, 2003 will forever stand in MMA history as the night Babalu could not lose.
Too bad we couldn't get a Seraldo Babalu moment from Tito in there to put it over the top...