by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
New Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral may not be fighting No. 3 ranked Matt Lindland on Jan. 24, but rest assured, he is fighting at Affliction’s sophomore effort, “Day of Reckoning.”
Instead of fighting Lindland at a catch weight around 190 to 195 pounds, Babalu will instead fight an undisclosed opponent at his natural weight of 205 pounds. Lindland will return to a match-up with Vitor Belfort at middleweight, which was originally scheduled for Day of Reckoning when the event was set for October in Las Vegas.
Now that things have shifted a bit – Day of Reckoning will take place on Jan. 24 at The Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. – it will likely be a better fit for all parties involved.
Wilner indicated that they have “no word” yet on whom Babalu will fight, but that “he is on the card at 205.”
“After we agreed to fight Lindland at a catch weight, Affliction came to us with an opportunity at Babalu’s natural weight (light heavyweight),” Wilner told MMAWeekly.com via email. “It is determined to be in everyone’s best interest, especially the fans, for the light heavyweight battle instead of the catch weight fight.”
“That said, coupled with our favorable relationship and support of and by Affliction, we opted to fight at 205 instead of 195. This will make the already stunning card that much better.”
In addition to Lindland vs. Belfort, Affliction 2 also features a headline bout for the WAMMA heavyweight belt held by Fedor Emelianenko, who will defend against former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski. Josh Barnett will also face Gilbert Yvel in a recently announced bout, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will fight Vladimir Matyushenko.