Affliction Entertainment has added a light heavyweight bout between Renato “Babalu” Sobral and former UFC and PRIDE star Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou to its “Day of Reckoning” event set for Jan. 24.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com spoke with Sokoudjou on Friday during the weigh-ins for the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he stated that he had signed the bout agreement to face Sobral and that the matchup is now official.
Reports of the bout surfaced earlier this week after Affliction prematurely released promotional materials to its website signifying the addition of the bout. However, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio informed MMAjunkie.com that while the fight was under discussion, that Sokoudjou had not formally signed.
Sobral, 31-7, last competed on November 21 during a Strikeforce event in San Jose, California. Facing the promotion’s then-incumbent light heavyweight champion Bobby Southworth, Sobral claimed his first major title following a TKO at the conclusion of the first round.
Prior to arriving in Strikeforce, Sobral had competed in the UFC, where he recorded notable victories over Chael Sonnen, Travis Wiuff, and Mike Van Arsdale. He was dismmised from the promotion following a second round submission victory over David Heath at UFC 74 for refusing to immediately release a choke.
Sokoudjou rose to stardom falling a pair of upset victories against top ten ranked light heavyweights during bis brief PRIDE tenure. Despite facing long odds heading into his bout at PRIDE 33 vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Sokoudjou managed to upset the native Brazilian with a knockout just 23 seconds into the bout.
The Cameroon native returned a couple of months later at PRIDE 34 in April of the same year and was matched up against another renowned Brazilian light heavyweight in Ricardo Arona. Despite his win over Nogueira, Sokoudjou was still pegged as the underdog. However, lightning struck twice with Sokoudjou knocking out Arona at 1:59 into the first round.
Sokoudjou eventually migrated to the UFC after Dream Stage Entertainment sold PRIDE to Zuffa. However, Sokoudjou’s tenure in the UFC was less than memorable and he was released following an October loss to Luis Cane at UFC 90.
In addition to the possibility of Sobral vs. Sokoudjou, “Day of Reckoning” is also slated to feature Fedor Emelianenko defending his WAMMA heavyweight title vs. former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. Additional matchups include Matt Lindland vs. Vitor Belfort and Josh Barnett vs. Gilbert Yvel.