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Two intriguing new bouts added to Bellator 143 card

Jim Edwards

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Two featherweight contests pitting Henry “OK” Corrales (12-1) against Emmanuel “El Matador” Sanchez (10-2) and Gleristone Santos (27-4) making his Bellator MMA debut against John Teixeira (18-1-2) have been added to “Bellator 143: Warren vs. Davis” at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas on September 25.

Corrales versus Sanchez will take place during the main card of “Bellator 143: Warren vs. Davis,” which airs live on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Meanwhile, Santos versus Teixeira will stream on Spike.com at 5:30 p.m. CT during the stacked preliminary portion of the card.

Tickets for “Bellator 143: Warren vs. Davis,” which start at just $20, are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com and the State Farm Arena box office. Doors for the event open at 5 p.m. CT local time, and the first contest takes place 30 minutes later.

The two previously confirmed fights feature Joe Warren (12-4) taking on L.C. Davis (23-6) in main event bantamweight action, while the Bellator 143 co-main event will pit Joey Beltran (16-11, 1 NC) against top middleweight Kendall Grove (21-15). Additional bouts will be announced shortly.

Corrales was one half of an exciting back-and-forth fight against Daniel Straus at “Bellator 138: Unfinished Business.” The former King of the Cage titlist has finished 10 of his 12 victories as a professional before reaching the judges’ scorecards and has an extensive background when the fight hits the mat, learning the ways of Brazilian jiu-jitsu under famed practitioner, John De La O.

Following a hard fought battle against Pat Curran at “Bellator 139: Kongo vs. Volkov” in June, “El Matador” returns to the Bellator MMA cage three months later with revenge on his mind. A short notice injury replacement against Curran, the 24-year-old Roufusport standout impressed in his third bout under the Bellator banner. Now, the Milwaukee native will look to bounce back at the expense of Corrales on September 25.

Long considered one of Brazil’s top prospects, the 26-year-old Santos debuted in 2005 when he was just 16 years old and earned victories in his first nine professional bouts. Born in Campina Grande, Paraiba, Santos currently boasts a nine-fight winning streak and is an incredible 16-1 in his past 17 appearances.

Best known as “Macapa,” the 28-year-old will be making his third appearance under the Bellator MMA banner, and his second in 2015. The submission specialist, who trains at the world renown Nova Uniao camp, has been on the winning end of two consecutive closely contested split decision wins. The lone loss of Teixeira’s promising MMA career came against Hugo Viana in the UFC back in 2012.

Are these two contests a look at the future of the 145-pound division? Tune into “Bellator 143: Warren vs. Davis” on Spike to find out.

Updated “Bellator 143: Warren vs. Davis” Card

Main Card:

Bellator Bantamweight Feature Fight: Joe Warren (12-4) vs. L.C. Davis (23-6)
Bellator Middleweight Feature Fight: Joey Beltran (16-11) vs. Kendall Grove (21-15)
Bellator Featherweight Feature Fight: Henry Corrales (12-1) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (10-2)

Preliminary Card:

Bellator Featherweight Feature Fight: Gleristone Santos (27-4) vs. John Teixeira (18-1-2)

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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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