Former UFC title contenders Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Matt Lindland (21-5) are expected to collide in a 195-pound catchweight bout during Affliction MMA’s encore offering at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on January 24, according WrestlingObserver.com.
"Babalu" is apparently testing the waters for a possible run in the 185-pound division sometime in the near future.
However, before the Brazilian even meets up with "The Law" he will co-headline Strikeforce: "Destruction," challenging the promotion’s light heavyweight champion, Bobby Southworth, for his 205-pound title at the HP Pavillion in San Jose, Calif., on November 21.
"Babalu" most recently defeated Mike Whitehead via unanimous decision in the inaugural Affliction show back in July. He is a talented jiu-jitsu practitioner, holding wins over Pele, Maurice Smith, Cyrille "Snake" Diabate and Chael Sonnen.
He also defeated Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Trevor Prangley and Jeremy Horn in the same night to capture the title at the IFC’s Global Domination tournament several years back.
Put simply, Babalu is one tough and experienced competitor who is a handful for just about anyone, including the Oregon candidate for State Representative House District 52.
Lindland -- who was penciled in to fight Vitor Belfort and then Prangley before Affliction scrapped its October 11 show because of lackluster ticket sales -- is widely considered to be a top 10 middleweight.
He holds victories over Horn, Ricardo Almeida, Phil Baroni, Travis Lutter and others in his 11 years as a professional mixed martial artist.
Lindland -- an Olympic wrestling silver medalist -- recently scored a unanimous decision win over Fabio Negao during the July Affliction show. It was self-admittedly a rather disappointing fight, which eventually turned into a wrestling match.
Despite the win, he blamed his political responsibilities and other factors for the poor performance and assured fans that he would be back to his normal form his next time out.
He doesn’t have much choice going against a dangerous opponent such as Babalu.
Affliction 2 will feature WAMMA Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko against number one contender Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski. Stay tuned for more details and fight rumors regarding this event.