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Bellator 137: Halsey vs Grove Preview

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This Friday, May 15th, Bellator MMA returns to Temecula, CA with an exciting night full of exhiliterating fights. In store for us is a Middleweight title on the line along with some excellent other bouts being featured on the card.

Darrion Caldwell vs Rafael Silva (Bantamweight Bout)
Kickstarting the card for the night is Caldwell versus Silva. Caldwell is undefeated at 6-0. Since signing with Bellator, he has racked himself up a 3-0 record in the promotion. His BJJ skills were certainly on display in his first two bouts, finishing both in the first round by way of submission. Followed by his most recent bout where he beat Anthony Dizy via Unanimous Decision. This fight will be his debut at Bantamweight, where he will surely be eager to keep his unscathed record intact.

Silva is currently 22-4 in his MMA career holding a reasonable amount of experience over Caldwell. Silva is the Bellator 2013 Summer Series Bantamweight Tournament Winner establishing him as a threat to the division and securing him a last minute fill-in slot in a bout against Joe Warren. Unable to make weight, Warren’s title was off the table but the bout still went forward where Silva lost via decision. Bouncing back with a win over Rob Emerson (last October) Silva looks to keep his winning ways by winning this fight against Caldwell in order to regain his momentum back towards title contention.

Curtis Millender vs Fernando Gonzalez (Welterweight bout)
Millender enters this bout off of a loss to Brennan Ward – a very high-class opponent. He has a lot of hype behind him, after his successful time in FCOC picking up a title during with the promotion. This is a big fight for Millender as he looks to redeem his loss and get back to his winning ways.

Gonzalez is another fighter on this card with a heck load of experience over his opponent. With a record of 23-13, he may look to use his cage time experience to dominate his opponent. Since joining Bellator this past year, he has gone 3-0 in the promotion creating a lot of hype and support for himself leading to this potentially high-intensity match-up. This fight will surely be intense and could go either way.

Co-Main Event: Eduardo Dantas vs Mike Richman (Bantamweight Bout)

Former Bantamweight champion Dantas (16-4) returns to the Bellator cage for the first time since losing his precious title which he held for 2 years. Dantas tore through a 7 fight win streak with the promotion earning the title before recently being unseated from the strap. He is one of the most exciting young fighters around and is a pleasure to watch. This is a big fight for him and a win could prove vital in moving forward in his career towards the top of the Bellator Bantamweight rankings.

Richman has gone undefeated since debuting at Bantamweight and was denied a title opportunity after knocking out Nam Phan in his last bout. Currently holding an 18-5 record, he has fought 11 times under the Bellator banner and is now looking for that step up to the title. This fight is what he hopes to be his final test before fighting for the gold. His vicious stand-up game saw him rack up 9 TKO/KO wins in his career along with 7 submission wins. This aggression will prove a big factor in his quest for a number 1 contenders spot. For both fighters, this fight will surely be important as both men are looking to gain a title shot.

Main Event: Brandon Halsey vs Kendall Grove (Middleweight bout for the Middleweight Title)
In our Main event of the evening, we see two of the division’s finest battle it out for the title in a potentially breathtaking fight set for 5 rounds.

Halsey is the current Champion and defending the title for the very first time since defeating Alexander Shlemenko back in September. Holding an impeccable record of 8-0, he looks to retain his title in this highly anticipated match-up. Hasley has dominated the division since joining Bellator and is a proven champion as well as an outstanding fighter with world-class ability. With only one TKO win and 4 Submission victories, you should expect some great ground work from Halsey. Look forward to him bringing the fight to the ground through his high level of wrestling. Halsey will look to utilize all of his tools to pull off a big win and retain his title.

Grove, the former TUF season 3 winner, holds a record of 24-14(1). Since his days in the UFC, he has established himself in Bellator as a top contender by earning himself this shot at the title. Grove has previously faced some big names in MMA history such as Jorge Rivera, Mark Munoz and Demian Maia. This cage experience will stand by him in this tough contest as he looks for the win. Grove possesses an unbelievable Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background, which he will look to put to use and take home another submission victory. This bout certainly looks like it will be very technical and competitive clash in styles. This fight will be the one to watch.

Preliminary Card:
LHW: Virgil Zwicker (13-4-1) vs. Razak Al-Hassan (12-4)
BW: Joe Taimanglo (20-6-1) vs. Antonio Duarte (18-5)
FW: Julio Cesar Neves Jr. (30-0) vs. Jordan Parsons (10-1)
WW: Jesse Juarez (22-9) vs. Ricky Rainey (10-3)
MW: Ben Reiter (15-0-1) vs. Benji Radach (21-6)

Preliminary Card (Dark Matches)
LW: Ian Butler (1-1) vs. Steve Kozola (5-0)
Women’s FW: Arlene Blencowe (5-4) vs. Adrienna Jenkins (18-5)
BW: Shawn Bunch (3-1) vs. Rolando Perez (7-4-2)
BW: Albert Morales (1-0) vs. John Yoo (0-0)

Main card on Spike TV: 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT
Preliminary card on Spike.com: 6:45 p.m ET / 3:45 p.m. PT

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Watch: Bellator 185 Prelims

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Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Complete Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Fight Card:

Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card:

Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)

Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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