"Babalu" dreaming of Affliction bout with Tito Ortiz
After a successful return to action against Mike Whitehead at Saturday’s “Affliction: Banned” event, light heavyweight Renato “Babalu” Sobral (30-7) hinted at a possibility for his next opponent — the perhaps-soon-to-be-ex UFC star Tito Ortiz (15-6-1).
The discussion began when Sobral was asked at the post-fight press conference if he would be interested in facing fellow victorious light-heavyweight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who had dispatched of Edwin Dewees earlier in the evening.
“Nogueira is a friend of mine,” Sobral said. “We’ve trained together before. Of course, if we’re going to have to fight, we’ll fight. But that’s not the fight I’m looking for.
“I’m looking for another guy. Wait for the name. It’s coming. I think (Affliction Vice President) Tom (Atencio) is going to bring a name for me. And I’ll be here to kick his ass.”
When probed further by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), Sobral admitted it was Ortiz he was after.
“That’s my dream fight,” a smiling Sobral said.
Atencio said while a fight between Sobral and Ortiz, who have never fought, is not a top priority, Affliction would be interested in hosting the match if a mutually beneficial deal could be brokered.
“[Signing Ortiz] is definitely not a priority, but it is something that when he’s finished with his contract — I know [the UFC] has a negotiation period and some kind of a grace period — when he’s done with that, we can talk to him,” Atencio said on Wednesday. “If that’s a fight that seems financially viable, then absolutely. It’s going to come down to dollars and cents, and it’s going to come down to if it works for us.”
Ortiz, who is winless in his past three bouts, has been vocal about his desire to compete outside the UFC. As reported previously by MMAjunkie.com, EliteXC has also shown interest in the former champion. Ortiz has also mentioned the possibility of starting his own promotion.