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Strikeforce CEO: 'Sometimes friends have to get it on.'

June 17, 2010 | 11:19 am

In the minutes after Costa Mesa's Renato "Babalu" Sobral defeated Robbie Lawler by unanimous decision Wednesday at a Strikeforce event at downtown's Nokia Theatre, both Sobral and his occasional training partner Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal discouraged talk of their meeting for Lawal's light-heavyweight belt.

"I spar with 'Babalu', we know each other so well, all you'd see is mediocre exchanges," Lawal told The Times. "'Babalu's' my brother."

Sobral said in the ring afterward that his preference was instead to fight another MMA veteran, Temecula's Dan Henderson.

But Strikeforce chief executive Scott Coker said as he plans Lawal's first title defense Aug. 21 in Houston, he is going to "sit down with 'Babalu,'" to see if he can arrange what Coker projected as "a great fight."

"I know they're friends," Coker said. "Sometimes, friends in this business have to get it on. We'll have that conversation with both guys."

Strikeforce officials said if Lawal-Sobral doesn't materialize, they'll consider arranging a fight with a member of Japan's Dream MMA organization.

-- Lance Pugmire