Bellator lands on Italian soil, featuring return of Alessio Sakara

Alessio Sakara, Bellator

It’s going to be a crucial weekend for Bel Paese’s mixed martial arts. In between Mauro Cerilli’s bout against Arjan Bhullar in ONE Championship and Marvin Vettori’s match with Andrew Sanchez in the UFC, Italian fans will enjoy Bellator 230 in the beautiful city of Milan, Italy.

It will be Bellator’s seventh event in Italian territory in what has been just a three-year span. It’s a sign that Scott Coker and his crew are committed to investing big in Italy and Europe as well.

Bellator Milan’s card features some top-notch home-based athletes and some international talents too.

UK veteran Kane Mousah (12-2, 1-0 Bellator) is going to make his second appearance in Scott Coker’s promotion after one year spent fighting in ACB. He was supposed to face SBG’s Daniele Scatizzi, but a broken jaw forced the Italian to pull put a few weeks ahead of the event. Brazilian Rafael Macedo (9-4) steps in now to face “The Danger” with less than a week’s notice.

Another English fighter, also with a history in Absolute Championship Berkut, will fight on Sunday as Ashley Reece (8-1, 2-0 Bellator) is called to welcome former Cage Warriors welterweight belt-holder Stefano Paternò (12-3-1). The Milan native Paternò is about to step foot into Bellator’s round cage after almost exactly a one-year hiatus due to a hand injury. It’s quite interesting to notice that both fighters cut few to none pounds in order to compete in the welterweight division.

Speaking of main events, the MMA part of the event is going to have three light heavyweight main events, one for Bellator 230, another one for Bellator Milan and the last one is called “House main event”, the most anticipated bout for the local crowd: Alessio Sakara against Canaan Grigsby.

“Legionarius” (19-13-2NC, 3-2 Bellator) will try to get back on track after the vicious knockout suffered against Kent Kauppinen at Bellator 203. On the other hand, Grigsby is coming back after more than two years outside the cage. Both men like to stand-and-bang, so the crowd is probably going to watch a quick highlight-reel KO, one way or another.

For the European Series main event, the long-time veteran Melvin Manhoef (31-14-1, 3-3-1NC Bellator) is going to lock horn against Congolese Yannick Bahati (9-4, 1-0 Bellator). The difference between those two athletes is remarkable, but Bahati told Bellator.it that growing up in Congo, seeing war and people die in front of him, lead him to have fear of no one.

Ready to fight again in Italy is former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho (16-3, 7-2 Bellator), who took just 44 seconds to silence Italian crowd back in 2017 when he brutally knocked out before-mentioned Alessio Sakara. The Brazilian is moving up to the 205-pound limit to face Fedor Emilianenko’s protégé Vadim Nemkov (10-2, 3-0 Bellator).

Nemkov has already beaten former Bellator title-holders in Liam McGeary and Phil Davis. A win over Carvalho could be one step closer to a title shot against current champion Ryan Bader.

See the full card below:

Bellator 230:

Light Heavyweight Main Event: Rafael Carvalho (16-3) vs. Vadim Nemkov (10-2)

Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Hesdy Gerges (0-1) vs. Dragos Zubco (2-1)

Heavyweight Feature Bout: Kirill Sidelnikov (11-6) vs. Domingos Barros (6-0)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Andrea Fusi (8-4) vs. Walter Pugliesi (4-2)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Nicolo Solli (2-0) vs. Dan Cassell (4-3-1)

Bellator Milan:

Light Heavyweight Main Event: Melvin Manhoef (31-14-1, 2 NC) vs. Yannick Bahati (9-4, 1 NC)

Welterweight Co-Main Event: Stefano Paterno (12-3-1) vs. Ashley Reece (8-1)

Lightweight bout: Kane Mousah (12-2) vs. Rafael Macedo (9-4, 1 NC)

Light Heavyweight House Main Event: Alessio Sakara (20-13, 2 NC) vs. Canaan Grigsby (8-7)

Bellator Kickboxing 12:

Kickboxing Featherweight World Title Bout: Gabriel Varga (17-6) vs. Cristian Faustino (31-11-2)

158-lb. Contract Weight Co-Main Event: Chingiz Allazov (59-3, 1 NC) vs. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee (287-52-4)

132-lb. Contract Weight Feature Bout: Luca Cecchetti (23-5) vs. Alex Avogadro (46-5-3)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Kevin Ross (33-11) vs. Shan Cangelosi (34-10-1)

174-lb. Contract Weight Feature Bout: Yuri Bessmertny (44-20-2) vs. Guiseppe De Domenico (51-9)

110-lb. Contract Weight Feature Bout: Siliva La Notte (66-17-4) vs. Jade Jorand (Pro Debut)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Endy Bonat (32-10-1) vs. Kebrom Neguse (33-2-2)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Giacomo Licheri (7-0) vs. Taras Hnatchuk (11-0-1)

140-lb. Contract Weight Feature Bout: Luca Mameli (8-2) vs. Pawel Zymansky (15-13-2)

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/10/2019. 

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