Skip to main content

Wrestling coach of Team Wanderlei, Renato Babalu

The blue team on TUF Brazil, led by Wanderlei Silva, counts with an outstanding coach. Renato Babalu isn’t just an expert in several areas of MMA, he is also one of the big stars of the sport with 36 wins and 9 losses in remarkable performances in Japan and events like UFC and Strikeforce, where he was light heavyweight champion.

In July of 1975 was Born – in Rio de Janeiro – Renato Sobral. Didn’t take long and Babalu gave his first steps towards martial arts. His first idols in this time of his life were fighters already. “I started practicing martial arts when I was 11 years old because of Bruce Lee”, he says.

Babalu’s formation as a fighter brought him knowledge on several styles of fighting, what makes the coach of team Wanderlei a specialist in some areas of MMA. In the course of his career, Babalu learned  luta livre, muay thai, wrestling and jiu jitsu, among others. Renowned masters like Marcos Ruas, Carlos Gracie Junior and Rafael Cordeiro sharpened his game. Besides MMA, Renato had good participations on grappling, jiu jitsu and wrestling events, for example.

In MMA, Babalu did his first fight in 1997 and accumulated 12 victories in a row. Among the opponents he beat, is the next challenger for the middleweight belt Chael Sonnen, who faces Anderson Silva for the second time in July, and the former Pride champion and UFC Mauricio Shogun, both submitted by strangulation. In fact, submission is one of his great virtues. It's 18 wins in his record, against five by knockout. Babalu has participated in events in the form of grand prix, making three fights in one night; faced tough guys like Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko, went through some controversial points in his career, and now is one of the coaches in the first edition of the UFC reality show in Brazil. Inside TUF house, Babalu demonstrates his sharp wrestling, responsible for great achievements in Brazil, like when he took the invincibility of a 12 year unbeaten olympic athlete, Antoine Jaoude. Anyway, there's plenty of experience to pass to the fighters of Team Wanderlei Silva. "I'll be able to show a bit of everything to these people," he says.

In the last years, Renato has been meeting a lot with Wanderlei. Both usually prepare themselves together for challenges and created a strong friendship. If in the first episodes of TUF Brazil, the blue team couldn’t get a victory, the union factor can be a differential for the change.

“Wand is a national hero and great person to work with, very serious. Everything is easy and fun because of his humbleness and companionship he transmits”, he ends.