Renato “Babalu” Sobral has went through many wars inside the cage.
Now, as he nears turning 36 years old, Sobral sees the end of his fight career coming to a close – and a future that involves teaching youths the sport he loves.
Sobral (36-9) hasn’t fought since being knocked out by Dan Henderson last December, falling to 1-2 in his last three fights, including a loss to Gegard Mousasi that cost him the Strikeforce light heavyweight title.
“Babalu” has competed all over the world against some of the elite fighters of all-time during his 14-year career.
“I’m just waiting this event of the (September) 10th goes by so that I know when I’ll fight again,” Sobral said in regards to a possible future fight in Strikeforce. “Meanwhile, I’m helping Rafael (Cordeiro) on the trainings, I have my gym, Gracie Barra Cerritos, where I train my student, I have my family…I have a big group of kids I like to teach.
“For now I’m more an athlete than a teacher, but I’ll change once I stop fighting, and I’m getting there. Actually, now I’m like a novice teacher.”
Sobraul could be signed to meet the winner of Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante-Yoel Romero, who square off this Saturday at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov.
For now, though, he will just continue to work with youngsters looking to learn MMA.
“Adrenaline is addictive, but after you start enjoying teaching, seeing other people learning, improving, mainly on the work I do with the kids…sometimes kids don’t have self-confidence, but after starting training Jiu-Jitsu it changes, and it’s so rewarding,” Sobral said.