Renato "Babalu" Sobral feels very confident coming into the ring on January 24th, 2009 where he’ll face the "African Assassin" Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (5-3). Sokoudjou was considered one of the most dangerous men at 205 right before signing with the UFC. After disappointing losses to the Brazilian fighters Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida and Luiz Cane, the UFC released him for good. Now, he’ll be taking on the current light heavyweight Strikeforce champion Babalu Sobral at the "Day of Reckoning" Affliction 2 event.
Sobral respects Sokoudjou’s striking abilities and especially his Judo, but states that he is very well prepared for any type of fight. Although he doesn’t plan on attacking Sokoudjou with some particular gameplan, he believes that his Jiu-Jitsu will help "submit" the 24-year old Judo specialist.
Here’s a snip from Babalu himself:
"I have to prepare a little bit for Sokoudjou’s strikes, and I have to respect his judo skills of course…I respect all his skills, but I know what I have to do to win this
fight. And I don’t have anything special prepared for Sokoudjou…The truth is that it doesn’t matter…If you have 100 fights in the bag or one fight, minutes before the
fight everybody pretty much does the same. That’s where you have to
control more emotions over there, like minutes before the fight. But
this really doesn’t matter very much because some kids just coming up
right now, they already know how to control (their pre-fight) emotions…If you don’t train hard — if you don’t train properly for the fight, you’ll probably be more nervous than you should…I just have to push the pace of the fight…I know how it’s going to end…It’s going to end with me finishing the fight. I’m probably going to submit him."