by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Renato “Babalu” Sobral has been released from his UFC contract after his behavior in the recent fight with David Heath as confirmed by UFC president Dana White during a media conference call earlier today.
Much speculation has gone into the possible punishment for Sobral after his actions in which he held onto a fight ending choke even after referee Steve Mazzagatti tried to get the fighter to release the hold.
Babalu may have sunk himself in an even deeper hole by making his post fight comments in which he stated he wanted to “teach him a lesson,” referring to Heath and their heated verbal exchange at the weigh-ins the day prior.
MMAWeekly spoke to Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer on Monday and he confirmed that at that time they had held up Babalu’s fight purse of $25,000 pending the investigation into the incident.
Kizer stated that he planned on re-watching the bout between Sobral and Heath and then would make a decision whether or not to file a complaint against Babalu at that point.
MMAWeekly spoke to Kizer about Babalu’s situation on Thursday afternoon and the Executive Director advised that Babalu and his management would be speaking in front of the commission during a meeting on Friday.
During that meeting, Babalu will have the chance to tell his side of the story, so to speak, to the commission and then at that point they will make a final decision as to whether or not to hold a disciplinary meeting to discuss punishment for Sobral.
Kizer also advised the possibility of the commission simply reprimanding Babalu for his actions and releasing his fight purse.
The final decision on the next step of action will come on Friday when Babalu appears in front of the commission.
This news comes on the heels of White’s original statement at the UFC 74 post fight press conference in which he stated, “I am not happy about it. If you have an arm or leg of somebody in a submission where somebody seriously injures somebody, you’ll never be back in UFC again.”
Word from Heath’s camp on Monday was that the fighter was okay physically and was more upset about his own performance than anything surrounding the controversy at the end of the fight.
Babalu’s release sets a precedent in the UFC that actions that could potentially harm another fighter, especially when they are as blatant as what Sobral did and then said, can cause a fighter to be let go from a UFC contract.
White did follow up by not ruling out the possibility of Babalu returning to the UFC in the future, but did say the Brazilian fighter made a huge mistake with his actions last Saturday night.
No word has come out of Babalu’s camp since the dismissal from the UFC.