UFC President Dana White confirmed last Thursday that Renato “Babalu” Sobral has been released from his contract. Sobral’s dismissal is the result of his refusal to immediately break a chokehold after his opponent, David Heath, tapped out at UFC 74.
Sobral dominated most of the fight, bloodying Heath before resorting to an anaconda choke in order to force a submission. The 31-year-old Brazilian fighter held on to the choke even after Heath gave up, completely ignoring referee Steve Mazagatti’s commands. Mazagatti tried to pull Sobral off Heath, who eventually lost consciousness.
Showing no remorse for his actions, Renato Sobral told UFC interviewer Joe Rogan after the fight that he purposefully held on to the choke as revenge for Heath’s pre-fight trash talk.
“He has to learn respect. He deserved that. He called me mother [expletive],” Sobral told Rogan.
The crowd showed their disapproval by booing him, but Sobral fired back in an interview with Las Vegas Review Journal columnist Ed Graney.
“The crowd didn’t like it? Who cares? At least they had a reaction. [Heath] had enough blood, so maybe he could have gone another round,” Renato Sobral said.
After the incident, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) announced it was going to withhold half of Sobral’s five-figure purse pending an explanation. For his unsportsmanlike behavior, Sobral can be fined and suspended or have his licensed revoked by the NSAC.
At a media conference call geared towards the promotion of UFC 75, White told CBSSports.com that Sobral made a “big mistake,” later saying that if Sobral had used a more potentially damaging move, he would have recommended that Sobral be permanently banned from mixed martial arts.
“I think if he had an arm, or a knee or an ankle, I think he should never fight in this sport ever again,” White said. “He held the choke a little too long, and yeah, it was wrong. I think you saw the response from the fans. Babalu was a fan favorite. They turned on him immediately.”
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: CBS Sports
(Image Courtesy of Sherdog)