Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Affliction: Banned - Mike Whitehead vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral Preview

Renato Sobral

Renato “Babalu” Sobral is one of the most talented light heavyweight free agent fighters on the planet. Unfortunately, most fans are stuck remembering his back-to-back losses to Chuck Liddell and Jason Lambert. After those fights he was then cut from the UFC in August of last year after failing to release an anaconda chokehold on David Heath. What should have been a submission of the night bonus and victory resulted in the fans turning on him and Sobral turning into a vagabond.

Free agency has not been kind to Sobral. He defeated Rodney Faverus in December of 2007 and has been scheduled to fight multiple times in organizations such as World Cagefighting Organization (WCO) in January and Harcore Championship Fighting (HCF) in May only to have the shows cancelled and ultimately, the organizations fail.

Babalu is now a member of the Gracie Barra Fight Team and recently received his black belt in Jiu-Jitsu from Carlos Gracie Jr. He was a national champion wrestler in Brazil before moving to the United States and has been training with catch wrestler, Josh Barnett and Lyoto Machida for this fight. His MMA record stands at (29-7) and he’s won 12 of his last fourteen fights. He is most famous for defeating Maurico “Shogun" Rua, Trevor Prangley, and Jeremy Horn all in a single night.

Mike Whitehead

Mike Whitehead is riding a twelve-fight win streak that dates back to March of 2006. He was a cast member of the Ultimate Fighter 2 and lost an uninspiring performance to Rashad Evans in the ninth episode of the season. He then went on to lose a unanimous decision to Keith Jardine at UFC 57: Liddell vs. Couture 3 in February of 2006. Since then, the three-time All American wrestler has not been beaten and has established a name for himself in the IFL and other organizations such as Rage in the Cage and Valor Fighting. He is a member of the Xtreme Couture Gym in Las Vegas and trains with the most talented fighters in the world.

Whitehead holds wins over notable fighters such as Ben Rothwell, Travis Fulton, and Damien Decorah. He is undefeated in the IFL and holds wins over Mark Kerr, Vernon White, and Krzysztof Soszynski while with the organization. He holds an MMA record of (21-5) and his losses are to the best in the business including Keith Jardine, Brandon Vera, and Tim Sylvia twice.


Both fighters are excellent wrestlers and both have won over half their matches by way of submission. Sobral however is more experienced and has a better resume of opponents. He is known to rush in with his hands down leaving himself susceptible to being knocked out which is evidenced in his fights against Chuck Liddell and Jason Lambert. I think Sobral has the advantage in this one but Whitehead is a much better fighter than he was on the Ultimate Fighter.

Affliction Banned
Honda Center
Anaheim, CA

Main Card:

Tim “Maine-iac” Sylvia vs. Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko

Ben “Northstar” Rothwell vs. Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski

Josh “The Baby Faced Assassin” Barnett vs. Pedro “The Rock” Rizzo

Ben “Northstar” Rothwell vs. Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski

Matt “The Law” Lindland vs. Fabio Negao

Mike Whitehead vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral

Mike “Quicksand” Pyle vs. JJ Ambrose

Preliminary Card

Aleksander “The Grim Reaper” Emelianenko vs. Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello

Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira vs. Edwin “Baby Face” Dewees

Vitor Belfort vs. Terry Martin

Ray Lizama vs. Justin Levins

Trenell “Savant” Young vs. Mark Hominick

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