A former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and UFC contender, Renato “Babalu” Sobral has faced some of the greatest fighters the sport has ever seen. His list of opponents is rivaled only by some of those he has faced, such as Chuck Liddell and Fedor Emelianenko. Babalu was an early pioneer of the sport. After starting out in the Vale Tudo circuit in Brazil, he was able to showcase his skills in Japan for the Rings organization.

Japan is where Babalu felt most at home inside the ring. It was also the country where a number of other fighters who would later be considered legends had their start. At more than one time in his career, Babalu was considered one of the most feared light heavyweights in the world. After his second tenure in the UFC and the folding of Strikeforce, he closed out his career with Bellator MMA before hanging up his gloves for good.

Last weekend, Babalu was a participant in an Abu Dhabi Combat Club America Federation superfight opposite Bellator MMA light heavyweight contender and ADCC veteran Tom DeBlass at the World MMA Expo in New York. A close back-and-forth fight saw Babalu lose via points due to a last-minute sweep by DeBlass, but Babalu’s warrior spirit has him committed to participating in future ADCC events.

The MMA Corner’s Justin Fuller caught up with Babalu at the ADCC America Federation New York Nationals Tournament as part of the World MMA Expo in New York City.

Watch the video interview above to hear Babalu talk about his plans to continue competing in grappling, his most memorable moment as a fighter, and his philosophy on fighting.