Bellator Fighting Championships is looking to build their light heavyweight division. This week, the promotion announced the signing of former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato "Babalu" Sobral. He will compete in the company's next light heavyweight tournament.
"Babalu" defeated Bobby Southworth back in 2008 to win the Strikeforce title. However, in his first title defense, he dropped the belt to Gegard Mousasi. Before ever signing with Strikeforce, challenged Chuck Liddell for the UFC light heavyweight title in 2006, but came up short. Over the course of his career, Sobral has defeated Bellator tournament finalist Travis Wiuff, Chael Sonnen and former UFC champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Christian M'Pumbu won the inaugural Bellator light heavyweight tournament to become the promotion's first champion. In the finals he defeated Richard Hale. Since winning the belt, the champion has fought only one -- a non-title decision loss to Wiuff. Wiuff will face Attila Vegh in the finals of the second light heavyweight tournament later this month. If he wins, he will have earned a rematch against M'Pumbu for the title.
Last May, Bellator made waves when they announced the signing of another former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. Muhammed Lawal is also expected to make his Bellator debut in 2013 and split time with professional wrestling organization Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.