Renato "Babalu" Sobral is a fighter who's been around. This Brazilian submission specialist has fought in some of the most well-known promotions in MMA, including Affliction, Strikeforce, and the UFC. He has fought a large list of top fighters from the 'old guard' and some who remain notable today, including Fedor Emelianenko, Dan Henderson, Kevin Randleman, Chuck Liddell, Mauricio Rua, Jeremy Horn, Chael Sonnen, and many more.
In his long and active career, Sobral has put together a rather impressive record of 37-9, including 19 submission wins. Now, the experienced fighter will be a refreshing addition to Bellator's light heavyweight division, which has drawn scrutiny for some time. Here's the tweet from Bjorn Rebney:
Great news.Babalu now in the Bellator family.He'll compete in our 205 tourney on Spike in January.Can't wait. twitter.com/BjornRebney/st…— Bjorn Rebney (@BjornRebney) August 10, 2012
As I said above, it will be nice to see Sobral become a part of Bellator's light heavyweight division. Currently, their championship seems tainted to many fans ever since the current champ, Christian M'Pumbu, lost in a "superfight" to Travis Wiuff nearly a year ago. Many of their signees have been anything but notable, but it is clear that they are trying to build up their ranks, not only by bringing in Babalu but also with their signing of former Strikeforce champ, King Mo Lawal.
The next Bellator light heavyweight tournament is set to take place in January. This will be a part of their start on their Spike TV deal. A total list of participants has yet to be announced, but this should hopefully be their strongest light heavyweight tournament yet.