In my eyes this fight is 50/50, with Babalu being the better fighter, and Robbie being the harder puncher. That's about all there is to it, I don't think you can't even begin to compare Mousasi with Lawler, or Manhoef with Babalu.
With that being said, this is one of those times where a loss could put Sobral on my vbookie black list. But I can't put him on there just because one of the best fighters in the world took it to him.
Lawler may have caught a guy but Babalu got straight out dominated by a better fighter.
I went back and watched babalu mousasi again (didn't take long) and I just don't see the same fight you do. Babalu escaped side control and created a scramble, mousasi popped up and unloaded on him. An inch here , a fraction of a second there and the fight would have lasted longer. At their level that's all it takes on "any given night". Mousasi fought well and won. He didn't dominate or out class babalu.
I also came accross this fight while I was looking. To me, this is what out classed looks like.
Using their almost common opponents and my majic mma math matrix, I predict Robbie gets choke out in the second round and babalu doesn't let go until Matt Hughes soccer kicks him in the head.
I'm betting the house.
Round 1 - "Big" John oversees the action. Sobral stalks forward, and southpaw Lawler looks for the right hook. Lawler misses on a hook combo and they're tied up. Sobral muscles them to the cage and throws a few knees. Sobral tries to muscle Lawler down but he's unsuccessful. After a few knees, McCarthy restarts them, and Lawler backs Sobreal off with a big shot. Lawler leaps forward with a knee to follow up, but Sobral catches him and clinches up. Lawler breaks off after a short struggle in close. Lawler stalking low with a lot of head movement. Sobral with a body kick. Lawler hits a counter hook off of Sobral's. Sobral closing distance and charges forward for a takedown. Lawler springs up and gets his head trapped, but he manages to get up. Lawler falls on a kick attempt and they're on the mat. Sobral works to pass and hints at an Anaconda choke in front headlock position, but he gives it up. Sobral stalks in again and lands a body kick after they right themselves. Sobral misses with punches on the way in and they clinch. Nothing doing, though, and they're back to slugging it out. Lawler with a nice counter. The round ends in a staring contest. MMAjunkie.com scores the round 10-9 Sobral.
Round 2- Sobral with a body kick. Lawler pursues with punches, and lands a nice left hand. Lawler swings away as Sobral grabs a leg in desperation. The pressure keeps "Babalu" from completing his takedown. Lawler with a straight left. Sobral nails a body kick. Sobral attempts high kick, and it looks like Lawler is playing possum. He is, and Sobral smiles. Lawler gives up the performance. Sobral again with a high kick that's blocked. He's more active on his feet than Lawler at this point. Lawler looks like he's waiting for that big shot. Sobral falls on a kick attempt, and a stinging body shot lands for a follow up. Sobral pursues with kicks and Lawler gets a glancing counter off in return. Lawler's left hand gets through. Sobral with a glancing left hook. They trade jabs. Lawler smiles. They trade hooks as Sobral closes, but neither is hurt. Lawler tires of being a punching bag and starts to pursue. He lands a straight left off a Sobral hook. Round ends with Lawler in pursuit. MMAjunkie.com scores the round 10-9 Sobral.
Round 3 - Sobral attempting to fend the advancing Lawler off. Lawler eats a body kick and throws a few shots, but nothing's landing cleanly. Sobral gets a leg but gives it up. He gets it again, but isn't too fond of taking punches for his effort. Lawler with a stiff jab. Sobral with a leg kick. The next one gets checked. Crowd favors "Babalu" with chants. Sobral nearly eats a big shot but lands a body kick. He gets fancy with a spinning backlist. Lawler is missing in the pocket. He feints a few times then goes high with a kick, but it's blocked. Sobral with a front kick. Sobral with a nice body shot. Lawler pushes Sobral off from a forward charge. Sobral keeps busy with punches but Lawler is covered up. Nice combination lands for Lawler. Sobral is on his bicycle now. Lawler misses with a hook. Sobral's nose is bleeding. Lawler lands a few nice hooks and comes in for the kill. He's landing more this time, but he hasn't put the submission ace away. Lawler ends the fight with a nice right hook. MMAjunkie.com scores the round 10-9 Lawler.
Renato "Babalu" Sobral def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).