Former Strikeforce 205-pound titleholder Renato “Babalu” Sobral will return to the cage against Dream 2010 light heavyweight grand prix finalist Tatsuya Mizuno next month in Malaysia.
Officials from the Singapore-based One Fighting Championship announced Monday that Sobral-Mizuno will top the bill for One FC 4 “Destiny of Warriors,” which takes place June 23 at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur. Set to fill the co-main event slot is a bantamweight affair between submission specialists Masakazu Imanari and Leandro Issa.
Sobral, 36, has not competed since December 2010, when he was knocked cold by Dan Henderson in what would prove to be the Brazilian’s final Strikeforce appearance. The Kings MMA representative signed with One FC in December and was expected to face Melvin Manhoef at the company’s March 31 event, but that bout was derailed by filming for “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil,” on which Sobral served as an assistant coach to Wanderlei Silva.
His opponent, 30-year-old Mizuno, made a name for himself by upsetting Manhoef with a 2010 kimura submission, though Mizuno would himself be submitted by Gegard Mousasi in his next outing. Currently training alongside Ryo Chonan at the recently opened Tribe Tokyo MMA, Mizuno has won back-to-back bouts against Trevor Prangley and Ilima Maiava.
Ex-Deep champ Imanari made a statement at One FC 3, using one of his signature heel hooks to hand Filipino prospect Kevin Belingon his first defeat. In “Brodinho” Issa, Imanari will tangle with a decorated BJJ player who has tapped four of his last five opponents.