A little more than 15 years ago Renato Sobral made his MMA debut, winning three tilts in a single-night tournament. “Babalu” followed his initial success inside the ring with a career full of impressive outings including victories on a number of other evenings where he had to fight multiple times.

Though the days of entering the ring more than once at an event are long behind him, Sobral will get another shot at taking home a tournament title starting later this month as part of Bellator’s light heavyweight field for Season 8. The 37-year old is looking forward to the opportunity based on both the challenge it presents as well as it catering to his experience in similar competitions.

“I’m very excited about this because fighting in one night, you don’t feel much. You go into one fight and then another fight. But if you fight and then you go home and cool down, the swelling goes up. Then you have to go back and train again, and then there’s a fight six weeks after. That’s a new thing for me,” said Sobral to MMAJunkie when asked for his thoughts on re-entering the tournament fray.

Sobral went on to express his confidence in being able to do enough to emerge as the last man standing without boring fans in the process, apparently finding a balance between strategy and all-out scrapping.

“There’s a very thin line between giving a show and winning a tournament. With a tournament, you have to save yourself for the next round,” explained Sobral. “You have to win without getting hurt too much.”

Sobral’s quarterfinal clash is scheduled for January 17 at Bellator 85 where the 37-9 veteran will take on Russian submission-specialist Mikhail Zayats.