Renato “Babalu” Sobral will be putting his five fight winning streak on the line August 1st against Gegard Mousasi at Affliction: Trilogy. He recently sat down for an exclusive interview to wrap about his scrap with the red-hot Iranian, and on facing Tito Ortiz, sort of.
“On the ground,” Babalu said, regarding his advantage against the 25-2-1 Mousasi. “He has been finishing and submitting. It’s not his weakness, but probably that’s where I can take advantage.”
Since defeating Ronaldo “Jacare” de Souza for the title last September, Mousasi has been all over the map – fighting a kickboxing bout, as well as defeating heavyweight Mark Hunt in the first round of DREAM’s highly-publicized Super-Hulk Tournament at Dream.9.
Although Babalu is well aware of the dangers Mousasi presents, regardless of the weight class, the reigning Strikeforce middleweight champ fully intends on bumping his win streak up to six.
And get this. His sophisticated and intricate formula in achieving that? Nothing different than what every little-league parent tells their kid right before they step up to the plate.
“Train hard, keep out of trouble and go over there and have fun,” Babalu said of his game plan. “Whatever it takes.”
Sounds simple enough, but the real question is if he will “train hard, say his prayers and eat his vitamins” Hulkamania-style too?
While former UFC champ Vitor Belfort scoffed at the very notion of facing Mousasi at any weight other than middleweight, the division where Mousasi earned his rep, Babalu gladly accepted the opportunity.
“My opinion, I fight any weight class that I can reach,” Babalu said to us regarding his warrior spirit. “But [Belfort] has a different conception, and I respect that . . . it’s just his choice.”
And after August 1st, will MMA fans finally witness the light heavyweight scrap Babalu has been asking for?
“Everything that I have to say about Tito has already been said,” Babalu told us. “I have already said everything that I need to say to Tito to his face. I don’t need to talk about Tito anymore.”
Although the controversial Ortiz hasn’t fought since May of last year, he appears to have gotten under Babalu’s skin from a distance. Not too much of a shock considering The “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has mastered the art of irritation throughout the years.