Bellator continued their recent signing spree this Friday with the addition of former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral. The 36-year-old Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt is expected to make his Bellator debut this January in the promotion’s Season Eight Light Heavyweight Tournament.
Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney was highly complementary of the UFC and Strikeforce veteran. Said Rebney of Sobral:
“Babalu is an awesome addition to the Bellator family. 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 fans perspective, he’s incredibly exciting to watch, and I’m expecting big things from Babalu in January.”
The controversial submission specialist enters Bellator with a 37-9 lifetime record which includes victories over Robbie Lawler, Chael Sonnen, and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
The addition of Sobral continues what has been a very active summer for Bellator; the promotion recently reached deals with Russian prospect Magomedrasul Khasbulaev and Armenian Akop Stepanyan, in addition to inking a major television deal that will see Bellator’s tournament format events broadcast throughout much of Eastern Europe.
Bellator season eight is set to begin in January of 2013, and will be broadcast live on Spike TV.