Renato “Babalu” Sobral (37-9) has been in MMA for 15 years and is no stranger when it comes to competing in tournaments. He’s taken part in one night tournaments and others that are spread out. He looks at them and realizes that it takes more than skill to come out the winner.
“In this kind of thing, there isn’t such a thing as a favorite,” said Sobral at Bellator’s open workout. “You just have to be more intelligent and [being] lucky counts too. You have to step out of the ring without getting any injuries. It’s sometimes luck.”
Sobral, who has competed in promotions that include the UFC and Strikeforce, makes his Bellator debut when he enters their Season 8 light heavyweight tournament. He meets Mikhail Zayats (19-6) in the opening round.
Heading into the fight, Sobral is 6-2 since the UFC released him in 2007. That includes appearances for Strikeforce and ONE FC. Zayats is also making his Bellator debut and comes in with a five fight win streak. All but one of those wins Zayats has finished within two rounds.
They meet at Bellator 85 from the Bren Events Center in Irvine, CA. That fight takes place tomorrow on Bellator’s debut on Spike TV, which starts at 10 p.m. ET.