by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
It was announced prior to Strikeforce on Wednesday night that if Renato “Babalu” Sobral defeated Robbie Lawler, he would get a shot at the light heavyweight title. The only problem with that is Babalu is close friends with and a training partner of current champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.
Babalu was successful in his fight against Robbie Lawler, picking up a unanimous decision victory. But following the win, he said he won’t fight his friend and called for another fight instead.
“I won’t never punch and try to hurt my friends, but I would like to ask for a fight, and all the respect that I have, in the beginning of my career I fought Dan Henderson in Japan and lost to him,” Babalu said.
The fight Sobral is referring to was the finale of a one-night “King of Kings” tournament held in the Rings organization. With each already having two fights under their belt that night, Sobral and Henderson met in the finals with Henderson picking up the majority decision win in a razor close bout.
Back on the winning track by beating Lawler, it appears Sobral is going to pass fighting his friend even if a title is on the line, and try to make a second fight with Henderson a reality.
“I don’t want to disrespect, but I would like to fight him. It’s going to be 11 years since I fought him. It’s a long time, and please, it would be an honor to fight him again, to have the chance to fight Dan Henderson,” said Sobral.
Henderson hasn’t fought since April when he made his Strikeforce debut, losing a unanimous decision to current middleweight champion Jake Shields.
It appears that Babalu and Henderson could be a viable fight for the organization, while the focus will now turn to who will face King Mo when he defends his title in August.