WELTERWEIGHT BELLATOR KICKBOXING TITLE ALSO ON THE LINE WHEN ZOLTAN LASZAK DEFENDS BELT AGAINST KARIM GHAJJI AT BELLATOR KICKBOXING 6
BUDAPEST — (February 8, 2017) – Bellator is returning to Hungary with a bantamweight world title fight pitting Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas (19-4) against Darrion “The Wolf” Caldwell (10-1) serving as the main event of Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Caldwell from the Budapest Sports Arena on April 14. The MMA portion of the evening will also feature a featherweight bout between Hungarian-born Adam “The Kid” Borics (5-0) and Anthony “Pretty Boy” Taylor (1-2).
In addition, Bellator Kickboxing 6 will be headlined by a welterweight world title rematch featuring Zoltan Laszak (11-2) against Karim Ghajji (97-13-1). Additional bouts for both events will be announced in the coming weeks.
Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Caldwell will be broadcast on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while Bellator Kickboxing 6 will air immediately following the MMA portion of the event, beginning at 11pm ET/10pm CT.
Dantas made his presence felt during his last outing, successfully defending his bantamweight championship belt in a five-round victory over Joe Warren. A 10-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, “Dudu” has recorded victories in 12 of his last 14 bouts, including nine under the direction of the Scott Coker-led promotion. Hailing from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the flashy 27-year-old is widely known as one of the most dynamic competitors in the division, tallying four knockouts and six submissions over his 23-fight career. A two-time Bellator MMA bantamweight world champion, Dantas will look to defend his title for the second time since winning the belt in a victory over former champion Marcos Galvao, and for the fourth time overall.
The 29-year-old Caldwell will be competing for division gold for the first time in his career and is coming off of a crucial victory over Joe Taimanglo at Bellator 167. “The Wolf” was able to avenge his earlier loss to Taimanglo, earning his 10th career victory and seventh under the Bellator MMA banner. Caldwell has collected five wins by way of first round knockout or submission, making him one of the most dangerous compeititors in the 135-pound class. Hailing from Rahway, N.J., the 11-fight veteran has quickly put together an impressive professional resume inside the cage, highlighted by a remarkable first round finish over former multi-division champion Joe Warren, a man whom Caldwell idolized coming into the sport. The Alliance MMA product now has the opportunity of a lifetime, as he prepares for the next chapter of his career and a shot at championship glory.
After winning the welterweight kickboxing championship at Bellator’s inaugural kickboxing show in Turin, Italy in 2016, Ghajji dropped his belt to world-renowned Hungarian champion Laszak when the pair met during Bellator’s first visit to Budapest last year. Now, fresh off an impressive win in Florence, Ghajji hopes to reclaim the belt that he feels is his.
If you missed their first enthralling encounter, watch it here.
Updated Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Caldwell Main Card:
Bantamweight World Title Bout: Eduardo Dantas (19-4) vs. Darrion Caldwell (10-1)
Featherweight Feature Bout: Adam Borics (5-0) vs. Anthony Taylor (1-2)
Updated Bellator Kickboxing 6 Main Card:
Welterweight World Title Bout: Zoltan Laszak (11-2) vs. Karim Ghajji (97-13-1)
TORINO (Feb. 7, 2017) – Bellator President Scott Coker today announced that his fast-rising promotion will be revisiting Torino, Italy for Bellator 176, which will be immediatelyfollowed by Bellator Kickboxing 5 at the Pala Alpitour on Saturday, April 8.
Less than one year ago, Bellator hosted it’s first-ever international event at the Pala Alpitour in front of a sold-out crowd of over 15,000 fans. Since that show, the company has rapidly and successfully expanded across the globe under the direction of Coker, visiting London, Dublin, Budapest, Israel, Florence and has an event booked in Belfast later this month.
The highly-anticipated return to Torino will feature MMA action starting with Carrington “Jetsetter” Banks(6-0) vs. Mihail Nica (5-0) in welterweight action as well as Djamal Chan(12-3) vs. Valeriu Mircea (13-4) in a lightweight affair. Additional bouts, including a main event will be announced shortly.
In kickboxing action, Bellator’s female flyweight World Champion Denise Kielholtz(46-3) defends her strap for the first time against ISKA and WKU World Champion Martine Michieletto (34-12-5) in the main event while Giorgio Petrosyan(83-2-2, 1NC) takes on Amansio Paraschiv (23-5-1)
Bellator 176 and Bellator Kickboxing 5 will be aired on SPIKE in America and further broadcast details will be announced shortly.
Tickets for the event are available now at www.oktagon.it and include access to an Oktagon Kickboxing event in addition to the Bellator 176 and Bellator Kickboxing 5 events.
“We are thrilled to be returning to the amazing city of Torino and once again working with my friend Carlo Di Blasi and his team,” said Coker. “Carlo is a great partner, and we look forward to replicating the success we had in this sold-out arena last year.”
“Oktagon is fortunate to be based in Italy, which is home to the most loyal and passionate sports fans in the world,” said Oktagon President Di Blasi. “The past two co-promotions with Scott and Bellator have been incredibly successful, and I know that this show will be no different.”
About Bellator MMA:
Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike, the MMA television leader. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world’s premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.
Spike is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press. Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.
Oktagon has been a mainstay in combat sports for over 20 years now, after officially being founded by Carlo Di Blasi in 1996. At its beginning the show was dedicated to free fight, the name that was given initially to MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Other disciplines such as Kickboxing, Muay Thai and Savate were gradually added. From the early 2000’s onwards. During the last years Oktagon has reached a huge popularity, both in Italy and abroad, creating many superstars in the process. Under the watchful eye of Di Blasi, the promotion has put on some memorable matchups throughout the years with top fighters including Bellator welterweight Paul Daley as well as The Petrosyan brothers (Giorgio and Armen), Robin Van Roosmalen, Valentijn Overeem, Rico Verhoeven and Artem Levin.
DUBLIN, IRELAND. (Dec. 16, 2016) – In the evening’s main event, it was wrestler versus judo practitioner as Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (20-5, 1 NC) returned to moneyweight to face Olympic Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii (14-7-1). King Mo avoided Ishii’s crafty throws as he scored a couple takedowns of his own throughout the fight. The contest finished with a shutout unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) for “King Mo.”
Now, after yet another impressive performance during the main event of “Bellator 169,” Lawal looks to end 2016 in style by repeating his domination over Rizin Fighting Federation opponents, when the 2015 eight-man Rizin heavyweight tournament winner returns to grand prix action during the Japanese-based promotion’s New Year’s Eve weekend of events.
Fresh off his victory in Dublin tonight, Lawal now sets his sights on the fellow contestants competing in the quarterfinals of the open-weight grand prix on Dec. 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan – the semifinals and finals are set for Dec. 31.
The 35-year-old former Strikeforce Champion defeated Brett McDermott, Teodoras Aukstuolis and Jiri Prochazka en route to winning the heavyweight tournament last year, now the “King” looks to retain his crown against the likes of: Shane Carwin, Amir Aliakbari, Mirko Filipovic, Kaido Hoovelson, Tsuyoshi Kosaka, Valentin Moldavsky, and Szymon Bajor.
With a second tournament victory in Japan, “King Mo” would cap off a stellar 2016 campaign, a 365-day run where in addition to Ishii, the American Top Team standout took current Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Champion Phil Davis to the limit during their “Bellator 154” tussle back in May
Gallagher Sinks in RNC During Third Frame of Co-Main Event
In what many considered “the people’s main event,” the highly touted SBG prospect James Gallagher (5-0) kept his composure through the first two hard fought rounds against Anthony Taylor (1-2). The American threw several powerful strikes, connecting on multiple occasions as Gallagher fought from safe range. Not long after the start of the final round the “Strabanimal” took the back of “Pretty Boy” Taylor with a body triangle actively looking to find a choke. It looked as though Taylor had it under control, walking across the cage toward his corner, pandering to the camera with a smile but seconds later, he was on his stomach, where he succumbed to a rear naked choke at 1:52 of round three. At the time of the stoppage, the judges were split with the cards reading 20-18, 18-20 and 19-19 after the first two rounds.
Kavanagh Gets the Irish Crowd Started with UD Victory
Sinead Kavanagh (4-0) was determined to put one on the board for the home team and that’s exactly what she did when she defeated Elina Kallionidou (5-1) by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27). Kavanagh stalked the Greek regional champion around the cage and scored on a great deal of combinations up against the fence. Kallionidou showed impressive resiliance, toughing out firestorm after firestorm of punches and bouncing back as though unfazed.
“Drake” Weichel Wants Another Shot at the Title
In the first televised fight of the evening, the crowd was loud, hoping to propel their Irishman Brian “Pikeman” Moore (9-5) to victory against Daniel Weichel (38-9). Moore looked sharp on his feet, throwing crisp jabs before getting taken to the canvas. From the ground, Moore fought off several rear-naked choke attempts before rolling into a triangle choke 4:44 into the first frame, making it 0-2 for the Irish-born fighters to start the card.
Who Else but Cameron Else to Spoil Hot Prospect Dylan Tukes Night
An electric Irish partisan crowd was on hand at the 3Arena in Dublin, but it didn’t take long for Great Britan’s Cameron Else (4-3) to silence them all with a jaw-dropping knockout victory over the highly-touted hometown fighter Dylan Tuke (3-1) only 20 seconds into round one.
DUBLIN, IRELAND. (Dec. 15, 2016) – The official weigh-ins for both “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii” and “BAMMA 27” took place this afternoon at the 1878 club inside 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. The competitors are now ready for action tomorrow at 3Arena, with the event airing on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
The Spike-televised main card will be highlighted by a heavyweight main event pitting “King Mo” (19-5, 1 NC) against Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii (14-6-1). In addition, Anthony Taylor (1-1) will look to quite the crowd as he enters enemy territory to challenge Northern Ireland’s own James Gallagher (4-0) in a featherweight co-main clash.
In addition to a full card of Bellator action, ticketholders will also have the unique opportunity to experience an additional fight card from Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotion, BAMMA. The bantamweight belt will be on the line at “BAMMA 27,” as Tom Duquesnoy (13-1, 1 NC) and Alan Philpott (16-8) prepare to duke it out for the division gold.
“Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii” takes place inside 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, and will air free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
“Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii” Card: (SPIKE TV – 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT)
Heavyweight Main Event: Satoshi Ishii (236.6 lbs.) vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (213 lbs.)
Featherweight Co-Main Event: Anthony Taylor (145.8 lbs.) vs. James Gallagher (145.6 lbs.)
Featherweight Feature Bout: Brian Moore (146 lbs.) vs. Daniel Weichel (145.6 lbs.)
Bantamweight Feature Bout: Elina Kallionidou (135.8 lbs.) vs. Sinead Kavanagh (135.2 lbs.)
DUBLIN (December 14, 2016) – Two of the top MMA promotions in the world, Bellator and BAMMA have joined forces to deliver an early Christmas gift for MMA fans everywhere with a unique doubleheader event at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland this Friday, Dec. 16.
Despite the cold and rainy weather in Dublin, the main and co-main event fighters turned up the heat at the Official Fight Week Press Conference for the co-promoted event inside the Gibson Hotel. Bellator MMA President Scott Coker took center stage alongside BAMMA CEO David Green, and the two were flanked by “Bellator 169” combatants King Mo(19-5, 1 NC) and Satoshi Ishii (14-6-1) along with James Gallagher (4-0), and Anthony Taylor (14-2), as well as BAMMA main eventers Tom Duquesnoy (13-1, 1 NC) and Alan Philpott (16-8), a Chris Fields (11-7-1), who takes on Andrew Clamp (8-1, 1 NC).
Below are several transcribed quotes from the press conference.
“The cold weather (in Ireland) gets me, you know what I’m saying. But it’s gonna be hot in the venue, because I’m gonna bring the heat.” It’s gonna be action packed. I’m ready to scrap.”
“I’m shocked (by the support from the Irish fans). I came here to do PR last time and everyone was cool, but this time around its been even better. I went to Nandos (chicken restaurant) and got hooked up with like $70 worth of food. If y’all haven’t eaten at Nandos yet I suggest you try it out because that place is good.”
“Don’t run around the cage. Fight me square, entertain the fans, and put on a good show.”
“All the people out there, ya’ll better tune in and watch me kick and beat Ishii’s a** out the cage.”
“It’s an honor to fight in Dublin. I’m looking forward to the fight, I’m excited, and I will do my best.”
“At the end of the day I can say whatever I want and he can say whatever he wants, but, you step in there and none of that means jack s***. It’s a fight between me and him, and that’s all that matters, and I’ll come out the winner.
“I literally do not care about him. I just care about me and what I’m going to do. I’m just going to go in there and smash his face in and that’s that. Simple answer.”
“Everything he is saying is a load of old bullsh**. Tune in on Friday night and you’ll see who’s going to the hospital after.”
“It’s amazing to fight in your own country and right here in the 3Arena. Walking out into that crowd, that feeling of pride is something you will always remember for the rest of your life.”
“Oh man, everything is going my way. The fact that I’ve got him, one-on-one, with the pretty one, it’s going tremendously fine. The atmosphere in Ireland is so beautiful. The weather, the women…oh my gosh the women! This is cuddling season
and I’m on Tinder just swiping right.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to showcase my skills. Everyone is looking at me as the underdog and saying this is a test. This ain’t no test, this is finals, and guess what? He’s going to fail.”
“I’m going to shock the world on Friday, and let them know who the hell is Anthony Pretty Boy Taylor, the most electrifying man in Bellator MMA. That’s what’s up, and I’m going to put on a show for all the people out there.”
“I get a lot of criticism, but I’ve also got a lot of Irish fans, just as much as he’s got, so it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t have the pressure, it’s on him. I’m coming here to do my thing. If I lose, I suck it up like a man. But if I win, I’m gonna be a superstar. I already know I’m going to win, he can’t stop me.”
“We’ve been on the road quite a bit this year with 25 fights, 28 if you include kickboxing. This is something that David and I started talking about a year ago. It’s been seamless and a lot of fun. David’s been a great partner to work with, BAMMA’s been great.”
“We’ve been following this league for a couple years now. We know that they’re the powerhouse here in the UK and were happy to team up with them and bring our top fighters.”
“This is going to be a great show that is going to be televised all over the world. It will be on SPIKE UK, which airs here in Ireland as well on Saturday at 11 p.m. local time, as well as on SPIKE in the United States at 9 p.m. ET. It will also air in 140 countries around the world, so this is an event that brings worldwide recognition to this event here in Ireland, and we’re very proud to be here.”
(Is this somewhat of a scouting mission for you on Friday?)
“The mission statement of the company is to bring the best fighters in the world to Bellator. So we’re going to be watching very closely I know there is some great talent here, and I’m excited to watch it and see what the future holds.”
(On the event coming together)
“David (Green) and I became friends a little more than a year ago, and has a big television producing background, and he’s done stuff for Spike and Viacom in the past. He’s a very big producer here in the United Kingdom. But as far as coming together, if you look at the background of Strikeforce or even before that in kickboxing, we were never opposed to having fighters in one organization against fighters in another organization. In the earliest parts of the Strikeforce career in MMA, we sent Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson (among others) to Pride against some of the Japanese fighters and they sent over (Shinya) Aoki, (Tatsuya) Kawajiri and some of the best fighters they had. To me, this is what martial arts is all about. We should have more events like this where top guys from different leagues compete against each other to find out who the best is. We’re not going to be opposed to that. That’s always been our philosophy
(On doing it again)
“That’s something David and I will talk about once this is over. We both individually have a big schedule for next year. We (Bellator) are going to go to more international events and more cities across the world. We are going to go to Latin America next year with shows on Mexico and Brazil.
“So we are going to have an exciting schedule to announce soon. This (Dublin event) is something that has worked out fantastic. The schedule and the timing was perfect. The door is always going to be open, these guys are a great partner and have been fantastic to work with and we look forward to doing more events.”
BAMMA and Bellator MMA will hold a unique doubleheader event in Dublin, Ireland this Friday, Dec. 16, which will feature multiple BAMMA world title bouts and an incredible Bellator MMA heavyweight main event rematch pitting “King Mo” against Satoshi Ishii. But before our ‘Bellator 169’ and ‘BAMMA 27’ competitors meet inside the cage, join us for an afternoon of verbal submissions at the official press conference inside The Gibson Hotel in Dublin.
Also on Friday night, Anthony Taylor enters enemy territory with a featherweight bout against Northern Ireland’s own James Gallagher. Also hailing from Ireland, Brian Moore will look to take advantage of the home crowd when he faces off against Daniel Weichel. The BAMMA bantamweight belt will be on the line at “BAMMA 27,” as Tom Duquesnoy challenges Alan Philpott for the division gold. Lastly, the stacked event features a featherweight world title fight pitting former Bellator competitors Ronnie Mann against Martin Stapleton.
NEW WOMEN’S FEATHERWEIGHT FIGHT ADDED TO THE LAST EVENT OF THE YEAR
SANTA MONICA, CALIF (December 12, 2016) – After an incredible year that saw Bellator MMA host events in international territories all around the globe, it is only fitting that the promotion’s year-ending event, “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii,” takes place this Friday, December 16 at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.
Shortly after her fight against Helen Harper (4-1) was announced, Bruna Vargas (2-1) has withdrawn from the bout due to injury. Harper will be paid her show money and a new women’s featherweight bout has been added to the SPIKE-televised card between undefeated fighters Sinead Kavanagh (3-0) and Elina Kallionidou (5-0).
The Spike-televised main card will be highlighted by a heavyweight main event pitting “King Mo” (19-5, 1 NC) against Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii (14-6-1). In addition, a pair of anticipated featherweight scraps will see Anthony Taylor (1-1) look to quiet the crowd as he enters enemy territory to challenge Northern Ireland’s James Gallagher (4-0) and, Ireland’s Brian Moore(9-4) take on the always-game Daniel Weichel (37-9).
Tickets for “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii” are on sale now and start at 35€ at Bellator.com, Ticketmaster.ie and the 3Arena Box Office. The event can be seen free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, and will be immediately followed by “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence.”
Fighting out of Straight Blast Gym (SBG) in Dublin, “KO” Kavanagh has fought all three of her professional bouts with BAMMA, and has earned her nickname bye scoring two knockouts in her first three fights. Kavanagh fought in BAMMA’s first-ever women’s fight, and ended her opponent’s night in just 17 seconds. Originally slated to compete in a bantamweight fight against Eeva Siiskonen (5-4-2) on the BAMMA portion of this co-promoted night of fights, Kavanagh now moves up in weight to face Kallionidou under the Bellator banner.
At only 18 years of age, Kallionidou has already made a name for herself in her home country Greece, where she holds the Cage Survivor women’s featherweight title. Incredibly, “Gunner” started her professional career off with a bang, scoring a first-round TKO just a month after her 16th birthday. Since then, the Greek fighter has gone 5-0, with three knockouts. The fight this Friday night, will be her first fight outside of Greece.
In addition to a full card of Bellator action, ticketholders will also have the unique opportunity to experience an additional fight card from Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotion, BAMMA. The bantamweight belt will be on the line at “BAMMA 27,” as Tom Duquesnoy (13-1, 1 NC) and Alan Philpott (16-8) prepare to duke it out for the division gold. Lastly, the stacked event features a featherweight world title fight pitting former Bellator competitors Ronnie Mann (25-8-1) against Martin Stapleton (18-4).
Complete “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii” Main Card:
Heavyweight Main Event: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (19-5, 1 NC) vs. Satoshi Ishii (14-6-1)
Featherweight Co-Main Event: James Gallagher (4-0) vs. Anthony Taylor (1-1)
Featherweight Feature Bout: Daniel Weichel (37-9) vs. Brian Moore (9-4)
Featherweight Feature Bout: Sinead Kavanagh (3-0) vs. Elina Kallionidou (5-0)
Bantamweight Feature Bout: Shay Walsh (14-4) vs. Luiz Tosta (9-2)
Updated “BAMMA 27” Main Card:
Bantamweight World Title Bout: Tom Duquesnoy (13-1, 1 NC) vs. Alan Philpott (16-8)
Featherweight World Title Bout: Ronnie Mann (25-8-1) vs. Martin Stapleton (18-4)
Featherweight Main Card Bout: Dylan Tuke (3-0) vs. Sean Tobin (4-2)
Featherweight Main Card Bout: Brian Moore (9-4) vs. Niklas Backstrom (10-2)
Welterweight Main Card Bout: Kiefer Crosbie (1-0) vs. Conor Riordan (Debut)
Welterweight Main Card Bout: Nathan Jones (9-5) vs. Walter Gahadza (16-0)
FLORENCE, ITALY — (December 9, 2016) — Following weigh-ins on Friday morning from Grand Hotel Mediterraneo in the capital city of Tuscany, all 10 competitors fighting during the main card of “Bellator 168: Sakara vs. Beltran” are now ready to compete tomorrow night at 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT, LIVE and FREE on SPIKE.
The mixed martial arts portion of action is headlined by a light heavyweight main event contest featuring Italy’s own Alessio Sakara (18-11, 2 NC), who will take on Joey Beltran (17-13, 1 NC). In addition, John Salter (12-3) meets Claudio Annicchiarico (1-4) in a middleweight bout, Philipe Lins (10-1) competes against Kleber Raimundo Silva (12-7), Goiti Yamauchi (20-3) returns to lightweight action against Valeriu Mircea (12-3), and Ed Ruth (1-0)looks to remain undefeated in 2016 on short notice againstEmanuele Palombi (5-2)
See below for complete weights and photos from today’s weigh-in proceedings.
SANTA MONICA, CALIF (Dec. 6, 2016) – It was announced today that one of MMA’s hottest prospects, Ed Ruth (1-0), will waste no time continuing to build his resume, as he fights Emanuele Palombi (5-2) for his second fight in as many months. The bout takes place this Friday at “Bellator 168: Sakara vs. Beltran,” on Dec. 10 from the Mandela Forum in Florence and will air LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 4pm ET/PT.
At only 26 years old, Ruth is looking to pave the way for the other members of “The New Breed,” a group of highly accomplished wrestlers who have all signed to fight under the Bellator MMA banner including: Joey Davis (1-0), Tyrell Fortune (1-0), Jarod Trice (1-0) as well as Aaron Pico and Romero Cotton – the last of which have yet to make their highly anticipated professional debuts. Before he was a three-time National Champion and four-time All-American wrestler at Penn State University, Ruth attended the world-renown Blair Academy in Susquehanna Township, PA, where he was the top-ranked recruit in the nation for his weight class. Having achieved great success at every stage of competition throughout his life, Ruth aspires to have the Bellator middleweight gold around his waist before long. After making the move across the country to Fresno, Calif., where he now trains at Dethrone Basecamp with other Bellator MMA fighters like Josh Koscheck and Chris Honeycutt, Ruth made his professional MMA debut just last month on Nov. 4, when he finished Dustin Collins-Miles with strikes at 3:19 into the first round.
Ruth now faces Rome’s Palombi, a seven-fight veteran with five victories including three KO’s and one submission. Ruth, who is taking the fight on less than a week’s notice, must quickly learn how to tune out a hometown crowd, who will certainly be heavily in favor of the Italian fighter.
The evening is highlighted by a main event featuring Italy’s most renowned mixed martial artist Alessio Sakara (18-11, 2 NC), who will duke it out with Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran (17-13, 1 NC) in a light heavyweight main event. Other Bellator MMA competitors will also be in action, including John Salter (12-3), Goiti Yamauchi (31-9) and Philipe Lins(10-1).
The Bellator Kickboxing brand will also be on display in Italy with a card that features a female flyweight rematch between Denise Kielholtz (45-3) and Gloria Peritore (11-1-1), but this time, a world title will be on the line. “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence” will also include a lightweight clash between Giorgio Petrosyan (82-2-2, 1 NC) and British kickboxing champion Jordan Watson (48-11-2), a middleweight matchup pitting Joe Schilling (19-9) against Victorio Lermano (30-7), a welterweight contest pairing Luca Novello (22-4-2) with Karim Ghajji (96-13-1), and Kevin Ross(31-9) will meet Alessio Arduini (26-14-2) in a lightweight fight. “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence” airs Friday, Dec. 16 at 11:15 pm ET, immediately following “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii.”
ALSO: PHILIPE LINS NOW MEETS KLEBER RAIMUNDO SILVA
SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (November 30, 2016) – A lightweight bout pitting Goiti Yamauchi (20-3) against Valeriu Mircea (12-3) completes the MMA portion of “Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2,” on a night which will feature both Bellator MMA and Bellator Kickboxing brands inside the Mandela Forum in Florence.
In addition, due to an injury suffered by Pietro Cappelli, Philipe Lins (10-1) will now meet Kleber Raimundo Silva (12-7) in light heavyweight action on Dec. 10.
The mixed martial arts portion of action on Dec. 10 is headlined by a middleweight world title fight featuring a rematch between Rafael Carvalho (13-1) and Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC), while Italy’s own Alessio Sakara (18-11, 2 NC) will take on Joey Beltran (17-13, 1 NC) at 205-pounds, and John Salter (12-3) meets Claudio Annicchiarico (1-4) in a middleweight bout. “Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2” will air LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 4pm ET/PT.
The Bellator Kickboxing card features a female flyweight rematch between Denise Kielholtz (45-3) and Gloria Peritore (11-1-1), but this time, a world title will be on the line. “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence” will also feature a lightweight clash between Giorgio Petrosyan (82-2-2, 1 NC) and British kickboxing champion Jordan Watson (48-11-2), a middleweight matchup pitting Joe Schilling (19-9) against Victorio Lermano(30-7), a welterweight contest pairing Luca Novello (22-4-2) with Karim Ghajji (96-13-1), and Kevin Ross(31-9) will meet Alessio Arduini (26-14-2) in a lightweight fight. “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence” airs Friday, Dec. 16 at 11:15 pm ET, immediately following “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii.”
An 8-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, Yamauchi enters the cage in search of his 21st career win and seventh under the Scott Coker-led promotion. You would be hard-pressed to find a fighter with more promise than the 23-year-old top prospect, who has already taken down proven veterans the likes of Martin Stapleton, Isao Kobayashi, and most recently Ryan Couture. The former featherweight returned to the lightweight division to face the aforementioned Couture earlier in the year at “Bellator 162: Shlemenko vs. Grove,” a fight in which Yamauchi dominated from the get-go, earning yet another first round submission victory. Yamauchi has finished his opponent in 17 of his 20 career wins, including 14 in the opening round of action. The Japanese-Brazilian submission specialist continues to make great strides in the sport, consistently displaying the flawless Brazilian jiu-jitsu technique that has given opponents many nightmares year after year.
Challenging Yamauchi will be Valeriu Mircea, a Moldova-born competitor that has also seen a great deal of success early on in his MMA career. The 23-year-old knockout artist will be making his Bellator MMA debut following three consecutive victories, including a pair of first round knockouts. Dating back to 2015, Mircea has collected wins in nine of his last 10 bouts and has already tallied six victories over his 2016 campaign. With three of his last four wins coming by way of first round knockout, you can expect an early array of attack in this pairing of two top prospects.
Taking on Lins will now be Raimundo Silva, a 28-year-old striker who will be making both his 2016 and Bellator MMA debut. Dating back to 2011, “Orgulho” has won seven of his last 11 contests, highlighted by his most recent knockout victory over Claudio Rocha, which came just 3:25 into the first round.
Complete “Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2” Card:
Middleweight World Title Bout: Rafael Carvalho (13-1) vs. Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC)