Chillin' with Babalu

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Was sitting in the sauna last night (after a workout) when in walks Babalu. Even thru the steam, he's hard to miss. (Kinda scary looking.)

BabaluI normally ignore celebrities, and try to respect their privacy (I've also seen Rodman working out there), but we were the only two in the sauna last night (Halloween).

Never ceases to impress me how gentle, in real life, big, scary people are. Perhaps that's cuz they have no need to inflate their ego.

Had a great conversation. He's surprisingly easy to talk to .. even made me laugh. Tho I'd imagine most people steer clear. Perhaps this makes it difficult for him to make friends.

Babalu hails from Brazil (Rio), and speaks with a strong Portuguese accent .. (which might be the world's most beautiful language. I used to date a girl from Brazil.)

He said his next fight is "in 21 days," .. up in San Jose. Babalu's record consists of 30 wins and 7 losses. He has skills, experience and heart .. which makes it exciting to watch him fight.

••• today's entry continues here below •••

He fought for the title a couple years ago, against Chuck "The Ice Man" Liddel, but got knocked out in the first round.

Babalu's strength lies in grappling and submission holds, while the Ice Man excels at striking/punching. So if Babalu could've gotten ahold of the Ice Man... "I didn't get that far," he said, citing the Ice Man's punching-accuracy as the reason for defeat. (I noted he didn't make an excuse, like saying it was a "lucky punch.")

After reviewing Babalu's Wikipedia entry, I noticed he was banned ("released") from the UFC after refusing to release a choke hold on David Heath, who had tapped out .. (cuz Heath called him a dirty name). Babalu did tell me he was fighting in/for a new league (Strikeforce), but didn't mention why.

The biggest impression I got, physically, was not how big he is, but rather how hard he seems. I mean, his muscles seem rock-hard .. more so than anyone at the club. His intimidating appearance contrasts strikingly with his easy-going, almost gentle demeanor. You could argue he gets out all his frustrations in the ring (the "octagon").

His nickname, Babalu, comes from the brand of bubblegum he used to chew. His daughter's name (Maria Fernanda) is tatooed across his chest. Definitely a bad dude. They should let him back into the UFC.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on November 1, 2008 11:44 AM.

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