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Where: SSE Arena, Wembley – London, England
When: Saturday, June 22, 9PM EST
How (TV/Radio): DAZN, Channel 5 (UK)
Former UFC contender and current Bellator middleweight king Gegard Mousasi, 33, puts his middleweight title on the line against the always dangerous Rafael Lovato, Jr. in what will be his second title defense. Mousasi captured the gold on May 25, 2018 from Rafael Carvalho via first-round TKO and defended it against Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald on September 29, 2018. He also defeated MacDonald via TKO – this time in the second round.
”The Armenian Assassin” stands at 6 feet, 2 inches tall and has a reach of 76 inches. He is a former UFC top-5 contender, K1 kickboxing champion, DREAM middleweight champion and grand prix winner, and former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. Mousasi fights out of Leiden, Netherlands under his trainer Bert Kops, Jr. He has an undefeated 8-0 kickboxing record and boasts a black belt in judo. He also has a 12-1 amateur boxing record.
This will be the first title fight for the undefeated Rafael Lovato, Jr under the Bellator banner. Lovato, 35, last fought on September 21, 2018 against John Salter where he defeated his opponent via rear-naked choke in the third round. He has four fights with Bellator with only one going to decision. He won his Bellator debut in 13 seconds.
Lovato is a World and Pan American Games jiu-jitsu champion. He stands one inch above his opponent at 6 feet, 3 inches. He has a 77.5 inch reach – a 1.5 inch advantage over Mousasi. The American fights with the Lovato Jiu-Jitsu Association. He has a fourth-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Saulo Ribeiro. He has been active in MMA since 2014.
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Melvin Manhoef, 43, hasn’t fought a mixed martial arts bout since April 8, 2017. On that night, he fought Rafael Carvalho for the Bellator middleweight title and lost by knock out in the fourth round. That fight was a rematch of their last bout where Carvalho won via a controversial split-decision. Manhoef is 2-3 in Bellator with one no-contest.
”No Mercy” stands at 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a 71 inch reach. He has been active in MMA since 1995. He fights out of Amsterdam, Netherlands with his gym Manhoef Fight and Fitness. He has a professional kickboxing record of 38-14 and has a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under instructor Caio Terra.
Kent Kauppinen, 27, will have a significant age advantage heading into this fight. Also a professional boxer, Kauppinen is coming off of four straight losses in the ring but he won his last MMA bout for Bellator which took place on December 1, 2018. He won via knockout over his opponent Alessio Sakara.
”The Hammerhorn” is 6 feet tall and will have a height advantage of four inches over Manhoef. The UK fighter trains with Dragons Lair Melksham. This will be his first fight in the middleweight division, formerly fighting as a light heavyweight.
Aaron Chalmers, 32, will be making his third appearance for Bellator Saturday night. He won his first four MMA bouts but suffered his first professional loss in his last fight at the hands of Corey Browning. That fight took place on February 9 of this year and Chalmers was defeated via heel hook submission just 20 seconds into the third round.
”The Joker” stands at 5 feet, 10 inches tall and fights out of Newcastle, England at the Ultimate Training Centre.
Fred Freeman is rather new to MMA, going 1-1 in just two professional fights. His last fight was on May 26, 2018 against Derrick Darling – a bout that took place outside of Bellator. He won via KO in the opening minute of the first round. Freeman last fought for Bellator on November 10, 2017. He lost due to a rear-naked choke against the son of notorious Kimbo Slice – Kevin Ferguson, Jr.
Freeman stands at 5 feet, 9 inches tall and fights out of St. Louis, MO.
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