Tag Archives: Rafael Carvalho








FLORENCE, Italy – A sold out crowd was on hand for Bellator’s return to the Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy to cheer on their national hero, Alessio Sakara, in his bid for the middleweight title at Bellator 190.  However, reigning champion Rafael Carvalho emerged victorious in his third defense of the belt with yet another exciting performance. With the victory, Carvalho is now tied with Alexander Shlemenko for most title defenses in promotional history.


Additionally, Bellator has announced plans for a summer return to Italy in the country’s capital city of Rome on July 7 with an event that will air on the soon-to-launch Paramount Network. The date marks the company’s first trip to Rome, after hosting multiple events in both Torino and Florence.


“After the success of our events in Torino and Florence, Italy over the last two years, we knew that it was time to do a show in Rome, a city rooted deep in combat sports history,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “The Italian fans have shown their passion for the sport and we look forward to bringing a huge card to Rome next year on July 7.”


Additional details about the card, including matchups, ticket and broadcast details will be announced shortly.


Bellator 190: Carvalho vs. Sakara Results:


Rafael Carvalho (15-1) defeated Alessio Sakara (19-12, 2 NC) via KO at 0:44 of round one


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1mimwbtlv7zjc8q/AAATYi5x1XR6AT9CWR9XW1aNa?dl=0


Quote: “I trained really hard for this fight. I made many sacrifices to get here and get ready for a tough fight with [Alessio] Sakara. With my preparation, I was able to get a good result quickly and I’m happy about that. I hurt my hand a little bit in the final sequence, maybe I punched the mat, but I hope to get back in the cage as soon as possible to continue defending my belt.”


Brandon Girtz (15-7) defeated Luka Jelcic (10-3) via TKO at 1:57 of round one


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/42f9tpuq9tlmmo2/AAAVZtpCY5RiOtfhqwGxQ2oIa?dl=0


Quote: “I was just going out there to throw bombs and put him away quickly and that’s exactly what happened. That’s what I usually do. Training camp was great, I was able to actually prepare for my opponent and it worked out well. I’ve had a great experience out here in Italy, it has been a journey and I treated it like an adventure. It was my first time fighting out of the country so everything was an adjustment and I came out nine days in advance to get acclimated. I want another tough opponent. Luka [Jelcic] was a tough guy, he was no slouch whatsoever. I want another top guy, that’s why I’m here – to fight the top guys and that’s what I’ve been doing since I got here to Bellator.”


Alejandra Lara (7-1) defeated Lena Ovchynnikova (12-5, 1 NC) via rear-naked choke at 4:09 of round one


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/j0e20cweikosmcr/AACc1OTFCsi6xmFNIxCRdFTwa?dl=0


Quote: “I was very excited for my Bellator debut and to be the first Colombian female in the promotion. I’ve been training incredibly hard, I felt that I was very well prepared for this fight. I just wanted to show the world how tough I am and I think I did that tonight. I spent half of my camp in Guadalajara with Alexa Grasso and Team Grasso there, and then I also went up to work with Roufusport Academy in Milwaukee to prepare for the fight. Both camps were amazing for me, and I learned a great deal, I just want to keep learning and competing. I am prepared for whatever is next. I look forward to big challenges in Bellator.”


Carlos Miranda (11-3) defeated Mihail Nica (6-1) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h2xekntid4tt03r/AAB1CBdvVX4cfuFA3FWKTDgva?dl=0


Gregory Babene (19-11) defeated Tony Zanko (1-5) via arm bar at 2:04 of round one


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rqyfbyrdps1oejo/AABdgCAaFdb7u-MeN_ONq8ITa?dl=0


Video Highlights Here: http://qlnk.io/ql/5a2c8784e4b073ff34846f4f


Bellator Kickboxing 8 Results:


Raymond Daniels (13-3) defeated Giannis Boukis (27-2) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dacqyn8gk1t6ov1/AABXyk_AvcaG8WUVZM3bWLJTa?dl=0


Quote: “Speed is definitely my advantage every time I get in the ring, and it was no different tonight. First and foremost, I’d like to give all the glory to God, because through him, all things are possible. I’d like to thank my opponent for taking this fight. It’s an honor to come here and fight in front of the Italian people. This is an incredible country with beautiful people, beautiful food, beautiful wine, great history. This is a fighting country. I think I might have some Italian in my DNA because every time I come here my blood boils and I feel like I’m ready to spar, I’m ready to fight. To anyone who wants it: come on, take a number and stand in line. You have seen my highlight reel, if you want to be part of it – I promise you, I can make you famous.”


Joe Schilling (23-9) defeated Filip Verlinden (44-19-1) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/liprom6xnlsvco3/AABPJD0B3Pe8d_8Gm5LmbNYua?dl=0


Quote: “I’ve got to watch the replay again. I thought Filip did a really good job and I was really excited to be fighting somebody of his caliber. Going into the fight, I thought he was the toughest guy Bellator has given me. When we were both with my last promotion, we were both top three the entire time I was there. I knew he was going to be a tough opponent, that’s why there was no trash talk from either one of us, I think we were both ready for a great fight and we delivered. I honestly was pretty frustrated with my performance and after the fight I told Jimmy (Smith) that I thought he had won. Now I’m back here in the locker room and everyone is telling me that I’m crazy for that take. I’d love to fight him again and finish him off. Maybe for a world championship. That’d be nice. But for now, I’m excited to go enjoy my vacation.”


John Wayne Parr (98-32) defeated Piergiulio Paolucci (24-6-1) via TKO at 2:32 of round three


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/er6m9gzbvk7knb5/AAAqbhlfJSLrXjwPsBMetIe9a?dl=0


Quote: “I’m very excited coming off of this performance. I thought my opponent was a bit awkward. I wanted to give him respect because I knew he had heavy hands. But once I felt that I could win, I started walking forward more and I threw a couple spinning back kicks just for fun, just to entertain. I had the one spinning heel kick that landed and thought that was pretty cool. I was pretty excited about that. I was just happy to get the stoppage really, because nobody wants to win by points. I’m inching closer to 100 victories and I’d love to hit that milestone here in such a major promotion like Bellator. Especially at my age of 41, being able to fight on the big stage is so surreal. I can’t believe that I’m still here competing in this sport that I love, and more than just competing, I’m being successful. I’ve got to thank Scott Coker, everyone at Bellator and Spike, and everyone that follows the sport for giving me the opportunity to do what I do. I’m really scared to be 41 and know that one day I’m going to have to retire, but right now, I’m having too much fun to stop.”


Hamza Imane (50-12-2) defeated Kevin Ross (45-13) via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tz29hlhly6x48b6/AAC3AugQrbNxNWFAQXtIvc-2a?dl=0


Gabriel Varga (14-5) defeated Roberto Gheorghita (30-7-3) via TKO at 2:49 of round two


Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7s75mm0hl33pzse/AAD-U3845d0GcdY83eBB0EM6a?dl=0


Video Highlights Here: http://qlnk.io/ql/5a2c8784e4b073ff34846f4f





LOS ANGELES – Bellator returns to Florence, Italy on Saturday, December 9, when both Bellator MMA and Bellator Kickboxing, along with Oktagon, emanate from the Nelson Mandela Forum for another huge evening of combat sports action.


Bellator 190 will air free on SPIKE at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT and will be immediately followed by Bellator Kickboxing 8. Tickets for the event start at just €30 and are available at Bellator.com.


Bellator 190 will be headlined by current middleweight champ Rafael Carvalho (14-1), who will defend his title against Italy’s popular knockout artist, Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara (19-11, 2 NC). In addition, Brandon Girtz (14-7) takes on Luca Jelcic (10-2) at lightweight, while Mihail Nica (6-0) meets Carlos Miranda (10-3) in second lightweight clash. A women’s flyweight offering rounds out the card when Lena Ovchynnikova (12-4, 1 NC) battles Alejandra Lara (6-1).


Meanwhile, Bellator Kickboxing 8 boasts a pair of world champions in Raymond Daniels (12-3) and Kevin Ross (45-12) taking on Giannis Boukis (27-1) and Hamza Imane (49-12-2) respectively, in non-title fights. Other kickboxing stars are on display as Joe “Stitch ‘Em Up” Schilling (22-9) challenges Filipino Verlinden (44-18-1), Aussie legend John Wayne Parr (97-32) competes for the 130th time versus Piergiulio Paolucci (24-5-1) and Canadian featherweight Gabriel Varga (13-5) rounds out the card in a matchup with Roberto Georghita (30-6-3).


Complete Bellator 190: Carvalho vs. Sakara Card:

Middleweight World Title Main Event: Rafael Carvalho (14-1) vs. Alessio Sakara (19-11, 2 NC)

Lightweight Main Card Bout: Brandon Girtz (14-7) vs. Luka Jelcic (10-2)

Women’s Flyweight Main Card Bout:  Lena Ovchynnikova (12-4, 1 NC) vs. Alejandra Lara (6-1)

Lightweight Main Card Bout: Mihail Nica (6-0) vs. Carlos Miranda (10-3)


Preliminary Card:

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Gregory Babene (18-11) vs. Tony Zanko (1-4)


Complete Bellator Kickboxing 8: Daniels vs. Boukis Card:

Welterweight Main Event (non-title): Raymond Daniels (12-3) vs. Giannis Boukis (27-1)

Middleweight Main Card Bout: Joe Schilling (22-9) vs. Filipino Verlinden (44-18-1)

161 lb. Catchweight Main Card Bout: John Wayne Parr (97-32) vs. Piergiulio Paolucci (24-5-1)

Lightweight Main Card Bout (non-title): Kevin Ross (45-12) vs. Hamza Imane (49-12-2)

Featherweight Main Card Bout: Gabriel Varga (13-5) vs. Roberto Gheorghita (30-6)





Complete “Bellator 168” Weigh-In Photos / Full “Bellator 168” Weigh-In Video

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 against Emanuele Palombi (5-2)

See below for complete weights and photos from today’s weigh-in proceedings.

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Joey Beltran (205.2) vs. Alessio Sakara (203.6)

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Kleber Raimundo Silva (205.9) vs. Philipe Lins (205.8)

Middleweight Feature Fight: Claudio Annicchiarico (185.2) vs. John Salter (185.2)

Lightweight Feature Fight: Valeriu Mircea (154.5) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (156)

Catchweight Feature Fight: Ed Ruth (189.2) vs. Emanuele Palombi (187.2)






SANTA MONICA, CALIF (October 18, 2016) – Bellator Kickboxing has added a trio of fantastic fights highlighted by a lightweight matchup between Kevin Ross (31-9) and Alessio Arduini (26-14-2). A Middleweight bout pitting Joe Schilling (19-9) against Victorio Lermano (30-7) and a welterweight contest pairing Karim Ghajji (96-13-1) with Luca Novello (22-4-2) have also been added to the action-packed “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence” card. The event marks the promotions second visit to Italy this year, as Bellator returns with another thrilling combo-event, featuring both Bellator MMA and Bellator Kickboxing brands on Dec. 10 from the Mandela Forum in Florence.

The MMA portion of the International event is headlined by a Middleweight World Title rematch between current champion Rafael Carvalho (13-1) and Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC). A light heavyweight fight pitting Alessio Sakara (18-11, 2 NC) against Joey Beltran (17-13, 1 NC) will also be featured on the “Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2” main card.


Exact broadcast details for “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence” and“Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2” will be revealed shortly.


The “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence” card also features a previously announced female flyweight rematch between Denise Kielholtz (45-3) and rival Gloria Peritore (11-1-1) as well as a lightweight bout pitting Italian superstar Giorgio Petrosyan (82-2-2, 1 NC) against Jordan Watson (48-11-2).

At 36 years old, “The Soul Assassin” has strung together one of the most accomplished kickboxing and muay Thai careers in the game, collecting belts in several promotions across multiple divisions. Ross has brought home six career championships, highlighted by the WBC Muay-Thai USA welterweight title, the WBC Muay-Thai International Super-lightweight title and the Lion Fight Super-lightweight title. During his 54-fight career, the Reading, Penn., native has collected notable wins over former champions Malaipet Sasiprapa, Kang En, and more. Ross hopes to add to his unblemished promotional mark, after recording back-to-back victories to begin his tenure with the Bellator Kickboxing brand. Fighting out of Dublin, Calif., Ross returns to Italy for the second time this year, having defeated Matteo Taccini at“Bellator Kickboxing: Torino” in April.


The 32-year-old Schilling has demonstrated his versatile skillset at the highest levels of competition by claiming multiple titles over his 10-year career, including two WBC Muay Thai World Championships, two WBC Muay Thai National Championships, and the MTAA Muay Thai Super-Middleweight National Championship. “Stitch ‘Em Up” continues to be one of the most aggressive fighters in the sport, collecting 11 of his 19 career wins via knockout. The multi-dimensional Schilling has also spent time competing in mixed martial arts, where he was awarded the 2014 Knockout of the Year for a ferocious second round blow that turned the lights out on Melvin Manhoef. Now, the 2013 Glory World Middleweight Tournament Champion Schilling returns to the ring in search of his first win under the newly-founded Bellator Kickboxing umbrella.


Fighting out of Meaux, France, the 10-time World Kickboxing Champion Ghajji will return to Italy after making his Bellator Kickboxing debut in Torino earlier this year. “Gadjetboy” became the first Bellator Kickboxing World Champion with a split decision victory over Mustapha Haida in the Inaugural Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight World Title fight at “Bellator 152.” Dating back to 2014, Ghajji has collected wins in nine of his previous 11 contests, including an eight-fight winning streak over a two-year stint. With 96 career wins under his belt, including 50 knockouts, the 110-fight kickboxing veteran will look to inch closer to the century mark as he prepares to challenge Italian hot shot Luca Novello.

Complete “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence” Card:

Lightweight Feature Fight: Giorgio Petrosyan (82-2-2, 1 NC) vs. Jordan Watson (48-11-2)

Flyweight World Title Fight: Denise Kielholtz (45-3) vs. Gloria Peritore (11-1-1)

Lightweight Feature Fight: Kevin Ross (31-9) vs. Alessio Arduini (26-14-2)

Middleweight Feature Fight: Joe Schilling (19-9) vs. Victorio Lermano (30-7)

Welterweight Feature Fight: Karim Ghajji (96-13-1) vs. Luca Novello (22-4-2)


Updated “Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2” Card:

Middleweight World Title Bout: Rafael Carvalho (13-1) vs. Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC)

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Alessio Sakara (18-11, 2 NC) vs. Joey Beltran (17-13, 1 NC)



Complete Event Photos Here

BOISE, IDAHO (May 20, 2016) – Rafael Carvalho (13-1) defended his middleweight belt in controversial fashion at the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho on Friday night, taking home a split decision win over at the expense of Melvin Manhoef (30-13).

The packed house was less than enthusiastic with the judges’ decision, which amounted to two 48-47 scores for Carvalho, while Manhoef took home one of the same tally.

With the victory, the 29-year old Brazilian is now 4-0 under the Bellator MMA umbrella and continues to ride his remarkable 13-fight winning streak.


The first fight for “Bellator Kickboxing: St. Louis” has been announced in a rematch of sorts, pitting Joe Schilling against Hisaki Kato. When the two first met at “Bellator 139: Kongo vs. Volkov,” Kato stunned Schilling with a “Superman punch” knockout that many pundits considered to be the “2015 Knockout of the Year.” That was MMA, and this time the two will fight in a kickboxing match. A world champion kickboxer, “Stitch ‘Em Up” Schilling  will look for revenge against Kato, a karate striker.

Additional fights, including a main event matchup will be announced shortly.

The second event for the brand new Bellator Kickboxing promotion will take place on June 24, immediately following “Bellator: Dynamite 2” at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, and will air LIVE and FREE on SPIKE.

Featherweight Co-Main Event Ends in Unanimous Decision Victory for Pat Curran

It took all three rounds to determine a winner in the evening’s co-main event, but in the end, former two-time Bellator champion Pat Curran (22-7) emerged victorious with a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) win over Georgi Karakhanyan (24-6-1). “Paddy Mike” connected with a great left hook that dropped Karakhanyan to the mat. The Chicago native relied heavily on his ground game in this one, consistently forcing Karakhanyan into uncomfortable positions and ultimately leading to the featherweight’s 12th win under the Bellator MMA fray.

Heavyweight Slugfest Ends in Draw for Dan Charles and Augusto Sakai

The evening’s second heavyweight feature fight was heavily overshadowed by multiple low blows from the foot of Augusto Sakai (9-0-1), leaving Dan Charles (10-3-1) curled over the canvas and gasping for air. In a bout that took every bit of 15 minutes, the judges’ scorecard concluded a majority draw (30-26 Charles, 28-28, 28-28), making it just the ninth in Bellator MMA history. Although the Brazilian Sakai remains undefeated, his nine-fight winning streak came to an end with the bittersweet finish at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. For Charles, it was the third time in his five-year career that a fight went the distance and the first of his 14 bouts to end in a majority draw.

Alexis Dufresne Shocks MMA World With Submission Victory Over Marloes Coenen

In a highly-anticipated female catchweight bout, Alexis Dufresne (6-2) delivered one of the largest upsets of the year by finishing Dutch superstar Marloes Coenen (23-7) with an armbar submission 4:33 into the first round. Along with Miesha Tate, “Sneaky Zebra” becomes just the second fighter ever to force Coenen to tap out. Not far removed from the birth of her first child, the 25-year-old Dufresne was able to impress in her Bellator MMA debut, despite being a +500 underdog.

Gormley Outlasts Beltran in Heavyweight Opener

During the opening contest at “Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef,” Joey Beltran (17-13) and Chase Gormley (13-5) traded blows in what was a heavyweight dogfight that took all three rounds to claim a victor. In the end, it was Gormley that came out on top with the split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) win over “The Mexicutioner.” Gormley, a 32-year-old native of Los Angeles is now 7-0 when his fights go to the judges table. The win is his first with the Bellator MMA promotion and sixth of his last seven bouts.

Preliminary Card Results:

Vince Morales (4-1) defeated Hamilton Ash (3-2) via KO at 2:32 of round three

Joe Hamilton (4-0) defeated Tyler Freeland (3-1) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:22 of round one

Casey Johnson (5-0) defeated Brendon Raftery (4-3) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:16 of round two

Marcin Held (22-4) defeated Dave Jansen (20-4) via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 2x)

Jesse Brock (22-8) defeated Olly Bradstreet (39-13) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:57 of round three

Will Noland (16-6) defeated Sean Powers (9-6) via KO (punches) at 3:29 of round one

Scott Thometz (10-5) defeated Josh Tyler (7-4) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-25)

Veta Arteaga (2-0) defeated Jackie Vandenburgh (0-2) via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 29-28)







Complete Weigh-In Photos Here


BOISE, IDAHO. (May 19, 2016) –The official weigh-ins for “Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef”took place this afternoon in front of a packed house at the Knitting Factory here in Boise, ID. All competitors are now ready for action tomorrow at CenturyLink Arena, with the event airing LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.


Middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho (12-1) will defend his title against Dutch striking ace Melvin Manhoef (30-12-1) in the main event of a fantastic night of fights that also includes a co-main event between Pat Curran (21-7) and Georgi Karakhanyan (24-5-1), who square off in a featherweight scrap that has future title-shot implications written all over it. The main card also includes a women’s catchweight showdown between slick Dutch veteran Marloes Coenen (23-6) and Alexis Dufresne (5-2). Dufresne, who returns to action after a recent pregnancy and on short notice, missed the 146-pound weight limit, but the fight will proceed as planned.


“Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef” will also feature a duo of heavyweight matchups with Joey Beltran (17-12) challenging Chase Gormley (12-5) and Dan Charles (20-3) looking to put an end to Augusto Sakai’s (9-0) unblemished record.


An undercard bout between Ricky Steele (5-0) and Eric Cronkhite (2-1) was cancelled when Cronkhite missed weight by nine pounds.


Very few tickets for the event remain, and are available at Bellator.com, the CenturyLink Arena Box Office or CenturyLinkArenaBoise.com.

Main Card: (Live on SPIKE – 9 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. CT)


Bellator MMA Middleweight World Title Fight: Rafael Carvalho (184.3) vs. Melvin Manhoef (185)


Bellator MMA Featherweight Co-Main Event: Pat Curran (145.6) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (145.1)


Bellator MMA Heavyweight Feature Bout: Dan Charles (242.2) vs. Augusto Sakai (262.5)


Bellator MMA Catchweight Feature Bout: Marloes Coenen (145.6) vs. Alexis Dufresne (150.7)


Bellator MMA Heavyweight Feature Bout: Joey Beltran (236.8) vs. Chase Gormley (264.5)


Preliminary Card: (Bellator.com – 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT)


Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Tyler Freeland (137.4) vs. Joe Hamilton (135.4)

Bellator MMA Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Dave Jansen (155.9) vs. Marcin Held (155.9)

Bellator MMA Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Veta Arteaga (127.1) vs. Jackie Vandenburgh (122.7)

Bellator MMA Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Hamilton Ash (145.8) vs. Vince Morales (144.9)

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Brendon Raftery (134) vs. Casey Johnson (134.9)

Bellator MMA Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Scott Thometz (155.7) vs. Josh Tyler (155.7)

Bellator MMA Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Sean Powers (182.4) vs. Will Noland (185.6)

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Jesse Brock (135.7) vs. Olly Bradstreet (135.7)






Bellator President Scott Coker, along with “Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef” main and co-main event fighters Rafael Carvalho (12-1), Melvin Manhoef (30-12-1), Pat Curran(21-7) and Georgi Karakhanyan (24-5-1) all joined this afternoon’s official media conference call to promote this Friday’s event.


Scott Coker

“We’re excited to be in Boise, fighting at the Century Link Arena. I think this is a fight town that has been hungry for a big MMA promotion and we’re proud to be the first to do it. We’ve got a great middleweight world title fight between Carvalho and Manhoef… Carvalho is coming off of a big win with a KO over Brandon Halsey and undoubtedly this fight is going to have a bunch of fireworks between both of these guys.”


On the fight between Curran and Karakhanyan…

“I definitely think that this fight has some title implications but we always like to see how the fight pans out…honestly if this is something that’s exciting and a barn burner and if this fight can stand on its own feet, it very well could be.”


On if a Bellator bonus structure is going to come to fruition in the future…

“It is something we’re working on but we’re just a little bit different, because we’re a premium TV model so it’s something that has been considered, but right now it’s something that is still just in dialogue.”


Rafael Carvalho

“I am excited and really think this could be historical. It’s going to be a lot of strikes and it’s going to be a kickboxing fight with MMA gloves.”


“Every fight you’ve got to show what you got. In this fight, it’s going to be no different [now that I’m a champ]. I’m going to show everything I’ve got and I am always looking forward to the next fight.

“People recognize me more now and I have gained more respect now as the champion…Winning the belt for the first time is one thing, but the real deal is when you defend the belt and keep the belt. That’s when you become the real champion.


On overcoming challenges of living in Rio…

“There are good people as well as bad but the only thing that is going to dictate your future is you and how hard you work for it. It doesn’t matter where you live or what kind of clothing you wear, if you put your mind into it and are willing to work hard for it.


Melvin Manhoef

“I look forward to making a kickboxing with small gloves. I am prepared for anything so it doesn’t matter what’s going to happen. I am looking forward to being there and doing what I do best, which is the striking, so for me it’s very nice that he wants to do the kickboxing in the cage with me.


Do you feel like people are counting you out heading into this fight?

“I don’t know what people are thinking but it all depends on what me and my team think and the fans who are supporting me think. I feel like the fight is still in me and I showed it at my last fight. I trained real hard for this fight and my goal is to show it again that you cannot count me out… You know my fight style; I do everything to knock people out so I am glad if [Carvalho] wants to make a kick boxing fight out of it.”


What would winning the Bellator title mean to you?

“It means a lot, with all of the hard work and a lot of people writing me off, but I think this is like a new era or new beginning for me and I could become a world champion. I think that being a fighter that’s been in the business so long, it has been an achievement already.”


Pat Curran

“I am really excited to step in there on Friday and put on a dominant performance. I have made a lot of changes in my life, in my camp and everything is falling into place right now and I’m excited to showcase that on Friday.”


Do the stakes of this fight change for you as they would for a title?

“I feel like every fight at this point in your career, especially in this division is do-or-die and if you win you’re going to get that much pull-through coming or having the chance to fight for the title again and I feel like over and over George and I have been that much closer to another title shot.”


Georgi Karakhanyan

“I can’t wait for Friday night. I am going out there with nothing to lose, just going 100 percent and fighting my fight and come out with a victory.”


On this being a potential title eliminator and going up against two-time champ Curran…

“I know everybody is talking about the title but to me I don’t think about that, right now I have a good opponent in front of me with Pat Curran, a former champion and I can’t ask for a better opponent than him. I am very excited, I cannot wait and I am ready to put on a great show and I’m for sure coming out with my hands right.”


On coming back from surgery and making adjustments…

“I treat everything the same, I got about five surgeries last year and the last surgery was just a meniscus tear but after that, Bellator took good care of me. They put me in a very good rehab place and I’ve started my training and feel 100 percent.”




“Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef” emanates from CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho airs LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 9e/8c. In preparation for the event, Bellator’s digital team has put together captivating new content, which you can view by clicking on the images below. Tune in to Bellator’s YouTube page for an inside look and more exclusive footage at what’s still to come.



Champions: Rafael Carvalho – The middleweight champion does NOT listen to the naysayers; he finds a way to win. Jimmy Smith breaks it down.


Foundations: Melvin Manhoef – Melvin Manhoef only knows one way to fight…All in! Either way somebody is going lights out. Jimmy Smith breaks it down.



Foundations: Marloes Coenen – Marloes Coenen  is a level above her competition, the MMA Pioneer show it every time she steps into the cage. Jimmy Smith explains.


What to Watch: Carvalho vs. Manhoef – This is for the Middleweight Championship! Rafael Carvalho and Melvin Manhoef will be a battle between masters of two opposing disciplines. Jimmy Smith and Manny Rodriguez break it all down.



What to Watch: Held vs. Jansen – Marcin Heldis a monster on the mat and Dave Jansen will have to find a way to negate that submission game. Jimmy Smith breaks it down.


What to Watch: Curran vs. Karakhanyan – There is a special energy in the Featherweight division. The competition is stiff and the winner will be in title contention while the loser may be put in the back of a long line of contenders. Jimmy Smith and Manny Rodriguez explain.



Rolling With Jimmy – The Bellator Featherweight takes a ride in Jimmy Smith’s 1969 Plymouth Barracuda. He shares how it feels to be in a stacked division and his desire to fight the best in the world.



FIGHT INFO:           A middleweight championship matchup between Rafael Carvalho (12-1) and Melvin Manhoef (30-12-1) will serve as the evening’s main event of “Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef” at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, Friday, May 20.


In addition, the main card features two of Bellator MMA’s top featherweights, with Pat “Paddy Mike” Curran (21-7) and Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan (24-5-1) squaring off in the co-main event.Alexis “Sneaky Zebra” Dufresne (21-4) will make her promotional debut after agreeing to a late addition bout against Dutch submission specialist Marloes “Rumina” Coenen (23-6) in female featherweight action. There will also be multiple heavyweight bouts featured on the main card, with Dan Charles (10-3) taking on undefeated Augusto Sakai (9-0) and Joey Beltran (17-12) facing off against Chase Gormley (12-5).


Tickets for “Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef” are going fast and can be purchased at the CenturyLink Arena Box Office or CenturyLinkArenaBoise.com, as well as Bellator.com. The event airs live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while the can’t-misspreliminary card airs live on Bellator.com and The Bellator Mobile App.




SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (May 10, 2016) – Due to injury, Julia Budd (8-2) has been forced to withdraw from her inaugural Bellator MMA Women’s Featherweight Championship Bout against Marloes Coenen (23-6). As a result, Alexis Dufresne (5-2) will take her place and challenge Coenen during the featured preliminary contest of “Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef” at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, on May 20.

The fight joins a card that already features a colossal Middleweight World Championship main event, in which Rafael Carvalho (12-1) defends his belt against the fiery Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef (30-12-1). In addition, former Bellator MMA featherweight titlist Pat Curran (21-7) will return to action for the first time since June, when he faces the resilient Georgi Karakhanyan (24-5-1) in the card’s co-main event. The last two men to challenge for Will Brooks’ lightweight title, Marcin Held (21-4) and Dave Jansen (20-3) will also be in action. Rounding out the televised portion of the event will be two heavyweight fights, when Dan Charles (10-3) meets Augusto Sakai (9-0) and Joey Beltran (17-12) takes on Chase Gormley (12-5).

Tickets for “Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef” start at just $25 and are on sale now at Bellator.com, the CenturyLink Arena Box Office or CenturyLinkArenaBoise.com. The event airs live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while the can’t-miss preliminary card airs live on Bellator.comand The Bellator Mobile App.

A former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Marloes Coenen, is riding a two-fight winning streak and undefeated record under the Bellator MMA fray into her bout with Dufresne. “Rumina” began her career winning eight consecutive fights and 13 of her first 14. The 35-year-old has been competing professionally since 2000 and has been an integral part of the progression of women’s mixed martial arts, challenging some of the best that the sport has to offer. Now, it’s back to the drawing board for the Dutch submission specialist when she looks to spoil the Bellator MMA debut of Alexis Dufresne.

The 25-year-old Alexis Dufresne began her career with a blazing start, earning victories in her first five scraps, all of which she ended in the first round. Born in Temecula, Calif., “Sneaky Zebra” has strung together an impressive resume, including three straight first round knockout wins dating back to her 2013-14 seasons and most recently two appearances for the UFC. Dufresne will be making her Bellator MMA debut next Friday and hopes to get back to her winning ways when she fills in for the absent Julia Budd on short notice.

 Complete “Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef” Fight Card

Bellator MMA Middleweight World Title Fight: Rafael Carvalho (12-1) vs. Melvin Manhoef (30-12-1)

Bellator MMA Featherweight Co-Main Event: Pat Curran (21-7) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (24-5-1)

Bellator MMA Heavyweight Feature Bout: Dan Charles (10-3) vs. Augusto Sakai (9-0)

Bellator MMA Lightweight Feature Bout: Dave Jansen (20-3) vs. Marcin Held (21-4)

Bellator MMA Heavyweight Feature Bout: Joey Beltran (17-12) vs. Chase Gormley (12-5)


Preliminary Card


Bellator MMA Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Marloes Coenen (23-6) vs. Alexis Dufresne (5-2)

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Joe Hamilton (3-0) vs. Tyler Freeland (3-0)

Bellator MMA Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Veta Arteaga (1-0) vs. Jackie Vandenburgh (0-1)

Bellator MMA Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Vince Morales (3-1) vs. Hamilton Ash (3-1)

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Brendon Raftery (4-2) vs. Casey Johnson (4-0)

Bellator MMA Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Scott Thometz (9-5) vs. Josh Tyler (7-3)

Bellator MMA Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Sean Powers (9-5) vs. Will Noland (15-6)

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Ricky Steele (5-0) vs. Erick Cronkhite (2-1)

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Jesse Brock (21-8) vs. Olly Bradstreet (39-12)






Credit: Bellator MMA

TORINO, ITALY. (April 15, 2016) – An electric, packed house was on hand Saturday night to bear witness to Bellator MMA’s inaugural international event, “Bellator 152: Pitbull vs. Souza,” at Italy’s largest indoor arena, The Pala Alpitour. The venue, which housed several events during the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, provided an incredible atmosphere for the historic card.

In the main event of the evening, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (16-7) welcomed Kevin Souza (15-5) to Bellator MMA with a unanimous decision loss (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). The matchup between the two Brazillians was well contested, as Souza took the fight on short notice after replacing Derek Camposbecause of injury only a week ago. “Pitbull” spent much of the bout trying to figure out his opponent’s unorthodox style, but in the third and final round, “Pitbull” was able to score a couple solid shots and a takedown to cement his position on the scorecards.


Few fighters can inspire a nation the way that Rome’s Alessio Sakara (18-11) had his Italian countrymen rooting for him tonight. The support paid off, as “Legionarius” got the better of Brian Rogers (12-9) in a slugfest for the ages. Crisp, precise, power-punches connected with Rogers putting him on the canvas, forcing the TKO stoppage at 2:29 of round two and making Sakai’s Bellator debut one to remember.


One of MMA’s hottest prospects, A.J. McKee (4-0) defeated Milan’s Danilo Belluardo (5-2) in front of his home crowd on Friday. Although the audience was raucous in support for Belluardo, they cheered with great appreciation for McKee’s performance and sportsmanship following his victory. During his fight against J.T. Donaldson at “Bellator 147: Thomson vs. Villaseca,” McKee was cut above the eye, the sight of his own blood seemed to cause the 20-year-old to hit the turbo button. Similarly tonight, McKee was on the wrong side of an accidental low blow and after a short resting period, “Mercenary” came out swinging with a torrid pace, ultimately connecting with a left kick to the ribs of Belluardo that sent him falling to the mat. The referee gave him a moment to defend himself but McKee rained down an efficient flurry of ground and pound, earning the TKO at 2:44 of the very first frame. Sending a message to Scott Coker and the very deep Bellator featherweight division that he means business, McKee said in his post-fight interview: “If you ain’t got the belt, I ain’t got my eye on you.”


Anastasia Yankova (3-0) quickly fought her way into a full mount against Anjela Pink (0-1) and applied a slick armbar submission to hand Pink a loss in her professional debut at 1:35 of the opening round. The young Russian striker has had the Italian fans clamoring to see her in action all week long, and had them on their feet celebrating her first-round victory. Yankova has now finished all of her professional MMA fights via submission and after the bout made it clear that she will be in action sooner, rather than later, “I promise to come back soon and have my second fight in Bellator, Yankova said. “It is really great to be a part of Bellator, I feel really happy.”


Two Italian competitors who regularly compete with Oktagon, Daniele Scatizzi (7-2) and Daniele Miceli (2-1) kicked things off at “Bellator 152: Pitbull vs. Souza” with a fast paced featherweight scrap. Scatizzi was able to secure a dominant position on Miceli’s back, sinking his hooks in and raining down unanswered strikes, forcing referee “Big John” McCarthy to call a stop to the action at 3:20 of round one and declaring Rome’s Scatizzi victorious by TKO.




Complete Weigh-In Photos Here


TORINO, ITALY. (April 15, 2016) – After Friday’s weigh-ins at the Turin Palace Hotel, all of the “Bellator 152: Pitbull vs. Souza” competitors are set to enter the cage inside of Italy’s largest indoor arena, The Pala Alpitour.  The event airs on SPIKE tomorrow, Saturday, April 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.


The mixed martial arts portion of Bellator MMA’s first event overseas will also include the promotional debut of Italian fan-favorite Alessio Sakara (17-11), who faces Brian Rogers (12-8) in a light heavyweight matchup and one of MMA’s most promising young prospects, A.J. McKee (3-0), who fights Danilo Belluardo (5-1) at 145-pounds.


Also, Anastasia Yankova (2-0) will make her promotional debut against Anjela Pink in MMA flyweight action and Oktagon competitorsDaniele Miceli (2-0) and Daniele Scatizzi (6-2) will round out the MMA card with a featherweight showdown.


Main Card: (Live on SPIKE – 10 p.m. ET/PT)


Kevin Souza (70.3 kg / 155.2 lbs.) vs. Patricky Freire (70.5 kg / 155.2 lbs.)

Alessio Sakara (92.25 kg / 203.9 lbs.) vs. Brian Rogers (93.05 kg / 205.3 lbs.)

Danilo Belluardo (66.05 kg / 145.4 lbs.) vs. A.J. McKee (65.95 kg / 145.5 lbs.)

Anjela Pink (58.65 kg / 129.3 lbs.) vs. Anastasia Yankova (59.35 kg / 130 lbs.)

Daniele Miceli (76.10 kg / 167.5 lbs.) vs. Daniele Scatizzi (76.2 kg / 168.2 lbs.)