Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Caol Uno, two old-school MMA fighters with over 20 years of fighting experience, stepped onto the mat for some pure grappling this past weekend.
Uno and Sobral, both 42 years of age, finished on the podium in IBJJF events in Tokyo and Rome, respectively.
Sobral began fighting professionally in 1997 and competed in MMA promotions such as the UFC, Bellator, ONE FC, and Strikeforce, the latter in which he was the light-heavyweight champion.
Babalu competed in both the IBJJF European No-Gi and Rome Open tournaments, taking silver in the gi and a bronze in no-gi after competing in the Masters 3 ultra-heavyweight division. He last fought MMA in 2013.
Uno, who competed in the IBJJF Asian Masters event, began his MMA career in 1996 and is a veteran of 55 fights. He fought most recently in April 2017. His career saw him contest for the UFC lightweight title twice: in 2001 against Jens Pulver and in 2003 vs. BJ Penn. A former Shooto champion, Uno fought in events such as HERO’s, Dream, and Vale Judo Japan.
A purple belt in jiu-jitsu, Uno won gold in the Masters 3 lightweight division in Tokyo.