Once again, Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press writes another article about the UFC as if it's a legitimate sport.
August 25, 2006
Babalu looks to freeze out Iceman
By NEIL DAVIDSON, CP
It's not easy being at the wrong end of a highlight reel.
That's where Renato Sobral has been since November 2002 when he was knocked out by a vicious kick to the face by Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell. The Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter known as Babalu had the misfortune to duck at the wrong time in the first round at UFC 40: Vendetta.
Instead of escaping danger, his head met the left shin of Liddell.
As Liddell celebrated in the ring, Sobral lay dazed on his back wondering what time zone he was in. Footage of the knockout has since become a UFC staple.
"I have been thinking of that fight for four years," said Sobral. "He's in my dreams."
Sobral is looking for payback tomorrow night in Las Vegas in UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral (on pay-per-view). Since losing to Liddell, the Brazilian has won 10 straight to improve his MMA record to 27-5-0.
A submission expert, the Brazilian's task is to take Liddell down to the mat where he can get nasty on him. He couldn't do it in the first fight -- inflicting little damage apart from a few leg kicks -- and Liddell was able to use his superior striking skills to set up the decisive kick.
Liddell (18-3-0) isn't fazed by Sobral's near-obsessive bid for payback, but respects the Brazilian. He knows Sobral doesn't go down easy, despite the fact their first fight lasted just two minutes 59 seconds.
"I'm not anticipating it ending quickly," said the champion. "Sobral's been knocked out once and that was by me and that was a pretty hard kick to the head.
"So he's not an easy guy to knock out, knock down. If I put my hands on people enough, sooner or later one of them's going to knock them out."
The light-heavyweight (205-pound) class is the rock star division of the UFC and Liddell rules.
The Iceman is the face of mixed martial arts in North America. Thanks to a toe injury, the Sobral fight is Liddell's first since a high-profile rubber match win over Randy Couture in February at UFC 57: Liddell-Couture III.
With his close-cropped mohawk, goatee and tattooed head, the 36-year-old Liddell looks like a lanky outlaw biker with attitude.
In fact, Liddell has an accounting degree and a good sense of humour, which he demonstrated on a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
He has appeared in films (Bachelor Party Vegas and the yet-to-be-released The Death and Life of Bobby Z) and TV (Blade: The Series).