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Renato 'Babalu' Sobral Signs Deal With Bellator

Esther Lin, Strikeforce
Esther Lin, Strikeforce

The influx of new faces continues for Bellator.

The fight promotion has signed Renato "Babalu" Sobral to a deal that will see him compete in the January 2013 light-heavyweight tournament. Company CEO Bjorn Rebney announced the news on Friday through Twitter.

Sobral is a 15-year veteran of the sport who has compiled a 37-9 record. He's had multi-fight stints in the UFC -- where he was at one time the 205-pound division's No. 1 contender -- and Strikeforce, where he was briefly the light-heavyweight champion.

He holds notable wins over Mauricio Rua, Chael Sonnen, Robbie Lawler and Jeremy Horn, among others.

During his UFC career, he compiled a record of 6-4, once facing Chuck Liddell for the belt -- he ultimately lost by TKO. He was released by the promotion following a 2007 win over David Heath for holding the fight-ending anaconda choke after the referee instructed him to release it.

He later rebounded in Strikeforce by defeating Bobby Southworth for the championship.

His most recent fight came in a June ONE FC event, where he beat Tatsuya Mizuno with a first-round armbar in just 31 seconds.

For Bellator, Sobral is among the latest pieces added to the roster to go with notables Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal and Brett Rogers and new talent like former Olympic hopeful Shawn Bunch and undefeated Russian Alexander Sarnavskiy.

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