Renato Sobral is one of the sports most ruthless and violent fighters to ever compete in mixed martial arts (MA). He has stepped in with and beaten some of the sports best light heavyweights.
He has a ground game that leaves opponents gasping for life and if not for the referee who knows what damage could have been done to David Heath at UFC 74: 'Respect'. Sobral latched in an Anaconda Choke and proceeded to choke the essence out of David Heath until refree Steve Mazzagatti came to the aid of Heath.
The reason? -"he (Heath) has to learn respect. He deserved that. He called me mother-f***er.".
That would be the last night we've seen 'Babalu' since inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Before Sobral obtained success in the UFC, Affliction and Strikeforce he made his stance at 205 in one highly unspoken night on September 6th, 2003.
Enter 'One Night Only: Renato Sobral'
The art of a tournament has been perfected by the first few UFC events and the glorious Grand Prix's of Pride Fighting Championship. Both were one by some of the sports best fighters like Fedor Emelianenko, Royce Gracie, Wanderlei Silva and Mark Coleman.
The International Fighting Championship (IFC) held an event by the name of 'Global Domination' and it was held in Denver, Colorado at the Pepsi Center. It featured some of the sports best fighters like future UFC light heavyweight champions Forrest Griffin and Mauricio Rua, Chael Sonnen, Jeremy Horn, Trevor Prangley and Renato Sobral in the tournament.
'Babalu' was just recently cut from the UFC and looking for his route back to the big show. Going in at 21-5, he was one of the most accomplished fighters in the tournament besides maybe Jeremy Horn. On a 2-3 skid that included losses to legends Chuck Liddell and Fedor, Sobral knew he needed to get back on track.
In the first round Sobral took on South African wrestler Trevor Prangley to start the evening. The fight wasn't amazing by any means but Sobral put himself in a ditch. Sobral outlasted and outpointed Prangley to a three round decision. The goal of course in a tournament is absorb the least damage and exert the least energy before the finals.
Sobral did neither.
Thankfully for Sobral a total of five fights occurred in between him and his second match of the evening. The bad thing is the next five fights combined for eleven minutes and seventeen seconds. Oh and his opponent was a 4-0 prospect in Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua.
The fight was a back and forth affair that left the Pepsi Center going crazy like a Peter Forsberg overtime goal. The two Brazilians took the war to the ground and each desperately tore at the others legs and arms looking to submit and move along.
After over twelve minutes of battling the more experienced Sobral was able to close the berth to the finals with a guillotine choke at 3:07 of round three.
The main event was set one fight later when Jeremy Horn would knockout Forrest Griffin with a head kick in round two. Sobral had legged 18 minutes of ring time while Horn was logging under t0 minutes. Sobral had one stoppage while Horn seemed to steamroll with a submission and knockout victory under his belt.
The thin air of Denver had to be weighing heavy on both fighters and their cardiovascular endurance. The ending was only fitting as they went the distance.
Clearly fatigued and not fighting on much energy the two warriors didn't get to showcase much other then heart and will. Sobral would end up winning a unanimous decision and in one night got back on track. He would find his way back in the UFC and a six-fight win streak following the event.
Sobral also holds the distinction of being 'Shogun' Rua's first loss and the only guy to beat between 2003-2006.
So Maniac's, do you recall this night? or any thoughts on Sobral?