Bellator 127 is now set as the promotion will return to Southern California’s Pechanga Resort & Casino on Friday, Oct. 3, as Daniel Straus will battle Justin Wilcox in the main event live on Spike TV. The night will also feature a former Bellator heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu’s debut at middleweight against Hawaiian native Kendal Grove and a full preliminary card of California’s top talent. Tickets for the event are on sale now and are available at the Pechanga Box Office, Pechanga.com or Bellator.com.
After recording a first round submission win in his Bellator debut, Sokoudjou returns to the bright lights to face Malik Merad. Merad enters the Bellator cage for the first time riding a six-fight win streak with 11 of his 19 professional victories coming by submission. Ready to put on an exciting fight for his home state fans, Sokoudjou has posted nine knockout victories with eight coming in the first round and is looking for the finish against Merad on Oct. 3.
Coming off of a first round TKO win over Joe Duarte at Bellator 122, Saad Awad will meet Sergio Rios in a lightweight bout. Looking to maintain his undefeated 8-0 professional record, Rios has recorded five wins by submission, but will put his skills to the test against Awad. A former tournament finalist, Awad is known for his ability to finish fights and has won 14 of his 15 professional victories by KO or submission, 13 coming in the first round.
Closing out the preliminary card will be a middleweight matchup between California’s own Keith Berry and Joe Pacheco, along with fellow southern California native Johnny Cisneros facing Ricky Rainey.
A Season 10 Welterweight Tournament Semifinalist, Justin Baesman will fight California native Fernando Gonzales and Ray Sloan will look to keep his undefeated record intact in a light heavyweight battle against Nick Moghaddam.
The full fight card is listed below.
Daniel Straus (22-5) vs. Justin Wilcox (14-6)
Marius Zaromskis (20-8) vs. Karo Parisyan (24-10-1)
Rafael Silva (21-4) vs. Rob Emerson (16-10-1)
Christian M’Pumbu (18-6-1) vs. Kendall Grove (19-14-1)
Thierry Sokoudjou (15-12) vs. Malik Merad (19-11)
Justin Baesman (14-5) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (21-12)
Johnny Cisneros (8-3) vs. Ricky Rainey (8-3)
Sergio Rios (8-0) vs. Saad Awad (15-6)
Nick Moghaddam (6-7) vs. Ray Sloan (7-0)
Keith Berry (15-13) vs. Joe Pacheco (7-2)
Shawn Bunch (2-1) vs. TBA