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‘Babalu’ Sobral on Metamoris match with Chael Sonnen: ‘I’ll submit him in less than 10 minutes’

Esther Lin, Strikeforce

Renato Sobral choked out Chael Sonnen en route to a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title in 2005, and wants to do it again. This time, "Babalu" wans to tap his old rival at Metamoris VI.

"Babalu" and Sonnen, who fought at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville at UFC 55, are set to meet again under grappling rules at Metamoris VI in Los Angeles on May 9. Sobral, also scheduled fight MMA later in June, wasn’t expecting to be offered a match against Sonnen.

"I competed at Metamoris before, and Ralek (Gracie) called me offering the match. I’m competing in jiu-jitsu all the time, so I’m in," Sobral told "I wasn’t expecting that, but I’m in. I’m not a 20-year-old anymore, Sonnen is from the same generation, and I think it’s going to be cool to compete against him."

Sobral stepped on the Metamoris mat for the first time in 2014, fighting to a draw with Dean Lister at Metamoris 3. Five months later, Sonnen headlined Metamoris 4 in opposite to Andre Galvao, taping to a rear-naked choke in a little over than 13 minutes.

"(Metamoris’ rules are) interesting because you don’t have to worry about scoring points and stuff like that, you only have to worry about finishing the match and entertaining the fans," "Babalu" said. "Metamoris came to change the submission and grappling world. We only had ADCC before, but ADCC if too far away. Metamoris’ production is amazing. They do an amazing show, so it’s pretty cool to compete there."

"Babalu" recently entered jiu-jitsu and grappling competitions, placing third at the European Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Lisbon in January. Not happy with his performance in the tournament in Portugal, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt predicts a different outcome in his 20-minute match in Los Angeles.

"Andre Galvao is one of the top in grappling, and he did a great job against Sonnen at Metamoris 4. I already expected that result, actually," he said. "I think Sonnen will come in strong and try that guillotine, one of his best attacks, but I don’t see him catching me, submitting me. I will submit him in less than 10 minutes."

Sobral tapped Sonnen with a triangle choke in the second round at UFC 55, and plans on using everything he can to finish the fellow Octagon veteran.

"He exposes himself more in MMA. But if he makes a mistake, I’ll tap him with a triangle choke," he said. "I’ll use my entire arsenal, everything I can, to tap him."

After competing in Metamoris, "Babalu" will focus on a MMA bout. Initially scheduled to meet Volkan Oezdemir on April 11, Sobral told that the fight is actually set for a Strength and Honor Championship card on June 20 in Switzerland.

"I will fight MMA again on June 20," he said. "The fight was supposed to happen in April, but I couldn’t go to Switzerland that date, so I will be fighting the same opponent in June."

Oezdemir, an 11-1 light heavyweight from Switzerland, has finished nine of his victories by knockout. Sobral, who fights for the first time since announcing his retirement from MMA in 2013, doesn’t plan on fighting for a long time.

"I want to clarify that I’m not making a return to MMA," he said. "I’m 40 years old and I still have energy to compete, and I want to fight. They offered me some money, and I believe I have the right to fight if I want to after everything I did. Fighting is in my blood, it’s hard to stay away. I’m addicted to competition, but I don’t have plans of becoming a world champion in the UFC or anything like that. I have my gym, Babalu’s Iron Gym, and my family. I just want to put my gloves on and fight."

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