After a week of bad news, we finally have some positive information to pass along.
Strikeforce today announced that it has salvaged the dynamite light heavyweight showdown between Renato Sobral and Gegard Mousasi, which appeared to be scrapped when Affliction MMA closed its doors just one week prior to "Trilogy" on Aug. 1, 2009.
It gets better: Sobral, the Strikeforce 205-pound champion, will put his belt on the line when the two fighters collide at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on Aug 15. It will be a featured bout on the televised main card, which will air on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET.
Sobral was forced to withdraw from his first-ever light heavyweight title defense against former Elite XC superstar, Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante, at the Strikeforce: ‘Lawler vs. Shields’ event slated for the the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., on June 6, due to the birth of his child in late May.
Babalu has won four straight fights since departing from the UFC in late 2007, including a decision win over Mike Whitehead at Affliction: "Banned," a submission win over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at Affliction: "Day of Reckoning" and a first round technical knockout win over Bobby Southworth at Strikeforce: "Destruction" to win the promotion’s 205-pound strap.
He will need every ounce of that experience (and his jiu-jitsu chops) to stymie Mousasi.
For Mousasi, who surrendered his DREAM middleweight title to focus on competing at a higher weight class, it is another opportunity to capture a major belt early in his bright career.
Here’s what he had to say about fighting Babalu under the Strikeforce banner:
"I am very happy that Strikeforce has resurrected this fight and that I will have the opportunity to become Strikeforce world champion…. Strikeforce is one of the world’s top promotions and I am proud to be a part of their roster of world-class fighters."
"The Young Vagabond" (25-2-1) is fresh off a first round submission win over Mark Hunt at Dream 9 on May 26. Mousasi is riding a 12-fight winning streak with victories over Denis Kang, Melvin Manhoef and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza. 23 of his 25 wins have been either submission or (T)KO stoppages.
Strikeforce: "Carano vs. Cyborg" will feature a 145-pound title fight between female fighting sensation Gina "Conviction" Carano and her nemesis Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, as well as a lightweight title unification bout between reigning champ Josh "The Punk" Thomson and interim champ Gilbert "El Nino" Melendez.
For all the latest on this still-developing fight card click here.