Bellator Headed For Milan Debut With Rafael Carvalho-Vadim Nemkov
Bellator returns to Italy for the seventh time on Saturday, Oct. 12 with a unique event worthy of three separate billings. The MMA and kickboxing action will all emanate from Allianz Cloud (Ex Palalido) in the heart of Milan for one incredible night of combat sports.
The Paramount Network (and DAZN simulcast) portion of the card will be headlined by former middleweight titleholder Rafael Carvalho (16-3) squaring off with Vadim Nemkov (10-2) in a light heavyweight affair as part of the Bellator 230: Carvalho vs. Nemkov broadcast. Bellator 230 will air on a tape-delay in the U.S. at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
Additionally, the fifth installment of the Bellator European Series, Bellator Milan: Manhoef vs. Bahati, will feature an explosive 205-pound matchup between Melvin Manhoef (31-14-1, 2 NC) and Yannick Bahati (9-4, 1 NC) that will stream live on the Bellator Mobile App in the U.S at 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT. Bellator Milan will air LIVE at 10 p.m. BST on Channel 5 in the U.K. Also on the card, Italian MMA legend and Bellator ambassador Alessio Sakara (20-13, 2 NC) takes on light heavyweight Canaan Grigsby (8-7) in a special feature bout.
Opening the evening’s action will be Bellator Kickboxing 12: Varga vs. Faustino, a card anchored by current Bellator Kickboxing featherweight champion Gabriel Varga (17-6) defending his title against Palermo, Italy’s Cristian Faustino (48-18), while the co-main will also see Chingiz Allazov (55-3, 1 NC) compete in a 158-pound catchweight bout against Sudsakorn (289-54-4). Bellator Kickboxing 12 will kick off the action live on the Bellator Mobile App at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT. Additional bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.
Hailing from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the 33-year-old Carvalho will make his second appearance of the year, following an impressive win over Chidi Njokuani just last month. Since signing with Bellator in 2014, the American Top Team-fighter has collected seven victories, highlighted by his middleweight championship win over Brandon Halsey, which he later followed with three successful title defenses. Standing opposite the Brazilian knockout artist will be fellow international powerhouse Vadim Nemkov, as the 27-year-old Russian will look to add to his current five-fight winning streak. Since making his professional debut in 2013, the former Sambo World Champion and Fedor Emelianenko-protégé has strung together 10 victories over a dozen bouts, with eight knockouts and eight first round finishes highlighting his resume.
Making his eighth appearance for Bellator, Melvin Manhoef has built a name for himself over the course of a 24-year career that has seen him finish 28 of his 31 victims via knockout, including 25 in the first round and eight within the opening minute of action. Fighting out of Amsterdam, the versatile 43-year-old also has 38 career kickboxing wins under his belt, making him one of the most experienced and dynamic fighters in the business. With three wins and a pair of impressive knockouts since joining Bellator, “No Mercy” hopes to find his way back into title contention with a win over the recently signed Bahati. “Black Mamba” enters the Bellator cage for the second time of his career, hoping to duplicate the success he had in May when he finished Amir Dadovic in the opening round of Bellator Birmingham. The 29-year-old middleweight will be making the jump up in weight class to challenge what will undoubtedly be the toughest task of his eight-year career in Manhoef.
Gabriel Varga is fresh off an emphatic win in his mixed martial arts debut, a fight he finished with a jumping knee and punches at Bellator 224. Now, the Toronto-native returns to the sport where he made his name and became the inaugural Bellator Kickboxing 145-pound champion. The 34-year-old Canadian has tallied three knockout wins over a four-fight run, which includes championship victories over Kevin Ross and Shan Cangelosi. Hailing from Palermo, Italy, Faustino will enter the kickboxing ring with the support of his country behind him. The 29-year-old Italian competes out of Pro Fighting Sempre Avanti Bologna and holds almost 60 fights to his name. Now, he has a shot at Bellator Kickboxing gold when he competes on Oct.12.
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Fighting out of Minsk, Belarus, Chingiz Allazov will be competing under the direction of Bellator Kickboxing for just the second time in his eight-year career, where the 26-year-old phenom has earned 55 victories over a 59-bout stretch. Having already defeated Klinmee in Italy just last year, the former K-1 Super Middleweight Champion will try to replicate the victory in an exciting rematch. Hailing from Pattaya, Thailand, the 32-year-old Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee will make his Bellator Kickboxing debut on Oct. 12. The reigning Thailand and World Kickboxing Network Muay Thai welterweight world champion also hopes to add to his extensive professional resume, which includes 289 wins and 74 knockouts.
Born in Rome, Sakara will return to his home country for the sixth time since signing with Bellator in 2016. When fighting in Italy under the promotion, “Legionarius” has amassed three victories, all of which ended in a knockout. The 37-year-old former world title contender has earned 20 career victories, including 16 finishes and 14 knockouts, making him one of the most dangerous 205-pound athletes on the roster. Tasked with the opportunity to spoil Sakara’s homecoming is 39-year-old Oklahoman Canaan Grigsby, who is also known for his ability to put his adversaries away early in the fight. With seven of his eight career victories coming by way of knockout, including four first round-finishes, “Super Beast” will be looking for the biggest win of his seven-year professional career when he steps inside the Bellator cage for the first time.
Updated Bellator 230: Carvalho vs. Nemkov Fight Card:
Light Heavyweight Main Event: Rafael Carvalho (16-3) vs. Vadim Nemkov (10-2)
Updated Bellator Milan: Manhoef vs. Bahati Fight Card:
Light Heavyweight Main Event: Melvin Manhoef (31-14-1, 2 NC) vs. Yannick Bahati (9-4, 1 NC)
Light Heavyweight Feature Event: Alessio Sakara (20-13, 2 NC) vs. Canaan Grigsby (8-7)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Andrea Fusi (8-4) vs. Walter Pugliesi (4-2)
Updated Bellator Kickboxing 12: Varga vs. Faustino Fight Card:
Kickboxing Featherweight World Title Main Event: Gabriel Varga (17-6) vs. Cristian Faustino (48-18)
158-Pound Catchweight Co-Main Event: Chingiz Allazov (55-3, 1 NC) vs. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee (289-54-4)
Featherweight Bout: Enderson Bonat (21-9) vs. Kebrom Neguse (33-2-2)