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Babalu to fight … Southworth?

Renato “Babalu” Sobral may be a very busy man over the next couple of months. Sources have confirmed that Babalu is set to face Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Bobby Southworth on Saturday, September 20.

The September 20th date is only three weeks prior to the second Affliction show where Babalu is supposed to be facing Tito Ortiz.

It’ll be very interesting if both organizations are willing to let Sobral fight on two different shows so close together. While Sobral would be a heavy favorite against Southworth, he could be forced to go five rounds with the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion.

Plus, based on all accounts, the Affliction show would pay Sobral substantitally more. Sobral also has publicly stated the the match-up with Ortiz is his “dream fight”. However, for Strikeforce to be willing to announce the fight, I would think they would feel very positive that it will take place. The other possibility is that negotiations between Ortiz and Affliction have fallen off. This could be a very interesting situation over the next few months.

  • mikee says:

    All the drama is making me not give a f%#@

  • BadMonkey says:

    Why would Babalu waste his time fighting some can like Bobby Southworth?? Unless the deal with Tito/Affliction has fallen apart, there’s no good reason for him to risk any injuries fighting Southworth before he takes on Tito.

  • Warcry says:

    Disfunction knows no end with these organizations. He’s fighting somebody 3 weeks before Tito. Wow, I think something is up with this. If the Tito fight is a ‘dream fight’ than you would want to be in the best possible shape for that matchup. Maybe that fight won’t come off. Which is yet another huge blow for Affliction. Tito being selfish is not a surprise we have come to know that about him over the years. What if he suffers a cut or god forbid an injury than his fight with Ortiz would be put in serious jeopardy. We all know he’s subsetible to the occasional bang out. That’s is Southworth’s very thin bread and butter. Perhaps Southworth has been on that cheeseburger diet and all of this is a moot point.

  • Nick Travaglini says:

    I am going to make an assumption here, that Strikeforce is willing to double Babalu’s prize money for him to take the belt away from southworth. I bet they can’t wait for him to take the belt and be their new champ. It will bring some legitimacy to Strikeforce that they have lacked in that weight class. With Josh Thompson, Cung Le, and Babalu Sobral as their champs, it really legitimizes there organization.

  • BJJDenver says:

    Agreed Nick, nice point.

    I also think that to some extent, this may put a little pressure on Affliction to get a deal done with Tito.

  • Warcry says:

    I would say a whole lot of pressure to get Tito in the fold. If by chance he loses to Southworth than that fight with Ortiz will be greatly diminished not a good look. Should have taken this fight after that October matchup.

  • Evan says:

    If this is lock solid official then I wouldn’t bet a dollar that the Tito fight will happen.

  • rolltide says:

    I wouldn’t really be worried about this even if Babalu is fighting two times in a month. Even though it seems unlikely. Does anyone think a scrub like southworth would even last 2 rounds with him? I’m not saying Babalu is that great or anything but its southworth people.

  • Evan says:

    rolltide…he can still easily get a medical suspension regardless of the outcome.

  • […] other Strikeforce news, our own Gary Herman reported last night that Bobby Southworth will defend his light heavyweight title against Renato “Babalu” […]

  • rolltide says:

    I’m aware of that. My point was Southworth is garbage. He lost to Hoger and his career highlight is beating Vernon White in a decision. Babalu should roll through him with little effort.

  • HexRei says:

    @rolltide im amazed at some people’s blindness to the reality of the fight world. Southworth is not a garbage opponent. *I* would be a “garbage” opponent for Babalu. Garbage is a 1-10 record. Southworth is good enough to be a champ in a smaller org which probably puts him in the top 2% of pro MMA fighters. I concur that Babalu will roll over him but jesus give the guy a little credit, not everyone can be the best of the best. some have to settle for less.

  • rolltide says:


    Yeah I understand Southworth is in the top 5% of the fight world. I also understand that I would get destroyed by Southworth. But, Southworth still sucks and still has a horrible attitude. The guy acted like he won when James Irvin fell out of the cage. He was dancing around cheering like he just accomplished something. I could care less about his record, this has more to do with how I think of him as a person.


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