Bellator Fighting Championships on Friday announced the signing of former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato "Babalu" Sobral, who will make his Bellator debut in 2013 as part of the promotion’s next 205-pound tournament.

“I’m really happy to be a part of the Bellator family,” Sobral said in the official release. “This is my new home, and I can’t wait to get into the tournament...I’m going to take this opportunity and get my shot at the Bellator world title.”

Sobral, 37, made his professional MMA debut in 1997 and would go on to challenge Chuck Liddell for the UFC light heavyweight title in 2006 before receiving his release from the promotion the following year. Though unsuccessful in his attempt to capture a UFC belt, the Brazilian would strike gold in then-rival promotion Strikeforce, finishing Bobby Southworth in 2008 to take the title. Sobral dropped the belt to Gegard Mousasi in 2009 but has since won two of his last three, most recently submitting former Dream grand prix finalist Tatsuya Mizuno with an armbar in just 31 seconds on June 23 at One Fighting Championship 4.

“Babalu is an awesome addition to the Bellator family,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “He’s beaten some of the greatest fighters in the sport and poses a tremendous threat to every fighter in our light heavyweight division. From a fan’s perspective, he’s incredibly exciting to watch, and I’m expecting big things from Babalu in January on Spike.”

Bellator is currently nearing the conclusion of its 2012 Summer Series. The third and final event of the shortened season takes place Aug. 24 and will serve to crown the next challenger for reigning light heavyweight king Christian M’Pumbu when tournament finalists Attila Vegh and Travis Wiuff collide. Additionally, Bellator 73 will be headlined by a featherweight championship showdown pitting champion Pat Curran against Season 4 tournament winner Patricio Freire. Currently airing all programming on MTV2, Bellator will broadcast its live content on Spike TV beginning in 2013.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Fedor Signs Mult-Fight Deal with Bellator | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 21 views

Bellator on Saturday announced its latest free agent signing, and it was a big one: Fedor Emelianenko. His first fight is already inked. read news >>

Matt Mitrione just as surprised as you when sweater-clad Fedor Emelianenko announced as Bellator 172 opponent

  • 13 days ago
  • 481 views

Matt Mitrione claims he was just as surprised as anyone when Fedor Emelianenko walked out from backstage at Bellator 165 to be announced as his opponent for the Bellator 172 main event.Filed under: B read news >>

Bellator MMA Returns to Kansas in January | MMAWeekly.com

  • 7 days ago
  • 9 views

Bellator MMA announced on Monday the first two fights for "Bellator 171" which will take place inside Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas, on January 27. read news >>

Ralek Gracie Books Promotion Debut for Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 6 views

The second main card fight announced for “Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen” features the Bellator MMA debut of Ralek Gracie. read news >>

Bellator inks 3-time NCAA Division II champ Romero Cotton, who eyes 2017 debut

  • 28 days ago
  • 7 views

Bellator continues to beef up his its roster of amateur-wrestling standouts.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

UFC Announces Highly Anticipated Return to London

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

After months of speculation, UFC® today announced its much anticipated return to London, England. The event will take place at The O2 in London on Saturday, March 18, 2017. read news >>

UFC Announces London Event for March 2017 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 26 days ago
  • 6 views

The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Wednesday announced its return to London, England. read news >>

Douglas Lima confident in title at Bellator 164, 'even if there aren't too many people paying attention'

  • 26 days ago
  • 9 views

As he prepares to try to reclaim Bellator’s welterweight title from the very man who took it away, Douglas Lima expects a much different fight than their original encounter: “It will be a hard fight, read news >>

5 reasons to watch Bellator 164 – the promotion's debut in Israel and a welterweight title fight

  • 26 days ago
  • 14 views

Bellator continues to expand to new markets and heads to Israel for Bellator 164. Check out five reasons to watch the card. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator champ Koreshkov not bothered by Lima's injury claims, but says all fighters deal with them

  • 25 days ago
  • 10 views

After losing Bellator’s welterweight belt to Andrey Koreshkov last year, Douglas Lima said that, impaired by injuries, he shouldn’t even have been in the cage that night. But the current champ, it se read news >>