UFC Vet ‘Babalu’ Says He Lost Sight Of Left Eye, Showing Signs Of CTE
Mixed martial arts (MMA) competition can be unforgiving and there’s a lot more to lose than pride.
Renato Sobral had 49 professional MMA bouts under his belt before calling it a career. He left the sport with a record of 37-12. The man most fight fans know as “Babalu” competed under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Strikeforce, and Bellator banners.
‘Babalu’ Pays The Price For Lengthy MMA Career
Sobral spoke to PVT and revealed that he is showing signs of
chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain condition caused by repeated damage to the head (via MMAFighting.com):
”What happened to me was something that came in homeopathic doses. Today a fighter learns how to fight, he learns how to make money, but he doesn’t learn too much about how to manage his life. I didn’t learn how to manage my life. I made several mistakes about money, about what I could have done with my career. I paid a price for being where I am.
“Today I can’t walk a straight line, I lost sight of my left eye, which is a big price (to pay). I have no balance today, my balance is almost zero. When I’m fighting, when I’m in a jiu-jitsu tournament or in training, it feels that my balance is normal again, but it’s complicated on a daily basis. But the guys that start fighting have to know that the price to pay will come one day. For everyone. People only talk about the good things today, what they have accomplished, what happened, but what about what you’ve lost? What happened to you?
”If someone asked me if I would let my son fight vale tudo, I would say no, I wouldn’t. My daughter? No. I would hope she wouldn’t. I’d rather see her study. My daughter already is on the water polo ‘A’ team of her high school, she competes, but being a professional athlete? Any sport demands a lot from your body and you will have to pay the price in the future.”
“Babalu” was knocked out seven times in his 12 losses. He has also gone the distance 13 times in victory and four times in defeat. His pro MMA career began in 1997 and ended in 2013.