July 27: Babalu to Fight Mousasi at Strikeforce
Renato “Babalu” Sobral will defend his light heavyweight title against Gegard Mousasi at Strikeforce “Carano vs. Cyborg” on Aug. 15 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
The bout was originally scheduled for Affliction’s “Trilogy” event on Aug. 1 in Anaheim, Calif. Affliction announced the cancellation of its third event Friday, and signed a brand sponsorship deal with the UFC instead. The cancelled event left 22 fighters in limbo, including the world’s No. 1 heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko.
Sobral (35-8) submitted Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou via a second-round brabo choke at Affliction’s final event on Jan. 24.
Mousasi (25-2-1), a former Dream middleweight champion, will make his U.S. debut against the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. The 23-year-old Armenian-born fighter submitted Mark Hunt with a first-round armbar at Dream 9 on May 26.
The title bout will join two others on Strikeforce's Aug. 15 card. In the main event, Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vie for the first-ever Strikeforce 145-pound women's championship. Lightweight champion Josh Thomson will also tangle with interim champion Gilbert Melendez in a rematch of their highly regarded June 2008 tilt.
Cageside's take: This will give American fans the chance to see the phenom that is Gegard Mousasi. Babalu is a very tough dude and I'd never count him out, but Mousasi should have little trouble dispatching Babalu.
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