Strikeforce officially announced today that light heavyweight champion Renato "Babalu" Sobral (32-7) has agreed to defend his title for the first time against former Elite XC superstar Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante (7-1) on the June 6 card set to air live on Showtime from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
Feijao -- a training partner of UFC champion Anderson Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira -- made a name for himself in 2008 fighting for EliteXC. He competed three times for the promotion, defeating John Doyle (KO), Wayne Cole (TKO) and finally Travis Galbraith (TKO) to capture the title last July at EliteXC: "Unfinished Business."
All three of those wins were first round stoppages. In fact, Feijao has never been taken out of the second round in any of his six professional victories. The lone blemish on his record thus far for the 28 year old jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai stud is a disqualification stemming from an illegal kick to Marcio Cruz in a heavyweight bout at the IFL Las Vegas show in 2007.
Babalu has been on a tear as of late himself. The jiu-jitsu black belt 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.
Sobral is light years ahead of Cavalcante as far as experience in the cage goes, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's more talented. Babalu certainly gets the edge on the ground with his vast jiu-jitsu knowledge, but Feijao has just as much of an advantage on his feet with the power and technique he possesses.
This should be a great co-main event fight for Strikeforce. There's going to be a lot of talent in that cage on June 6.
Color me excited.
Headlining the event will be another champion vs. champion match-up as former EliteXC welterweight champ Jake Shields steps up to face the last reigning EliteXC middleweight title holder in a 185-pound affair.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more as the fight card starts to fill up.