- BABALU TO DEFEND STRIKEFORCE BELT FROM MOUSASI

July 27, 2009
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by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Affliction’s “Trilogy” event and Affliction’s fight promotion may have gone the way of oblivion, but not all of the fights the promotion had scheduled will. Strikeforce on Monday announced that the bout between Renato “Babalu” Sobral (35-8) and Gegard Mousasi (25-2-1), which was one of the featured pairings for the Trilogy pay-per-view, will now take place at “Carano vs. Cyborg” on Aug. 15 in San Jose, Calif.

Not only will the two still do battle, but the fight will now be a contest for the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship belt currently around Babalu’s waist. It will be one of the featured contests on the Showtime televised portion of the fight card.

Though not in the straights that Affliction went through, the “Carano vs. Cyborg” fight card has had it’s own share of issues to work out over the past couple of weeks. Once an event featuring four title bouts, two of those bouts are currently up in the air due to fighters dropping out.

Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem had to withdraw from his title defense against Fabricio Werdum due to recurring issues with his hand, and Joe Riggs dropped out of his rematch with Nick Diaz to declare a Strikeforce welterweight champion.

“Carano vs. Cyborg” still features the headline bout between Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos for the newly minted women’s 145-pound divisional title and a lightweight championship rematch between current titleholder Josh Thomson and challenger Gilbert Melendez.

The championship roster goes back up to three with this recent addition of Sobral vs. Mousasi.

“I am very happy that Strikeforce has resurrected this fight and that I will have the opportunity to become Strikeforce world champion,” said Mousasi, who is in the midst of a monstrous, 12-fight win streak. The 23-year-old was crowned the first Dream middleweight champion and Middleweight Grand Prix tournament champion last year in Japan.

The 33-year-old Sobral, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and former national wrestling champion for Brazil, will defend his Strikeforce championship for the first time since he seized the title from Bobby Southworth at HP Pavilion on November 21, 2008.

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