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Renato 'Babalu' Sobral on Suffering from CTE: "I Paid a Price for Being Where I Am"

Renato Sobral has competed as a mixed martial arts fighter for 16 years, facing some of the best in the world for promotions like the UFC, Strikeforce, and Bellator, but is paying a big “price” now.

In a long interview with Brazilian outlet PVT, the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and UFC title contender opened up on the health issues he’s dealing with after competing 48 times inside cages and rings.

“Babalu” fought against a who’s who in the sport before announcing his retirement in 2013, noteworthy names like Fedor Emelianenko, Mauricio Rua, Dan Henderson, Gegard Mousasi, Robbie Lawler, Chuck Liddell, Chael Sonnen, and Kevin Randleman. Throughout his professional career, Sobral was on the receiving end of knockouts seven times over 11 defeats.

Now, six years after hanging up his gloves, Sobral says he has symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

”What happened to me was something that came in homeopathic doses,” Sobral said. “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."


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