With Bellator MMA’s groundbreaking fight in Israel just over a month away, the Viacom-owned promotion on Tuesday announced a couple of updates to the highly anticipated fight card. Georgi Karakhanyan (25-6-1) will go against Israel’s own Kirill Medvedovsky(6-1) in a bout to take place on the main card of the promotion’s first ever event at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv on November 10.
Karakhanyan replaces Irish prodigy James Gallagher, who now fights at ‘Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii’ in Dublin on Dec. 16.
In addition, a female flyweight bout between Ukrainian superstar Lena Ovchynnikova (10-4) and Karla Benitez (13-9-1) has also been added to event, completing the lineup for main card action that will air on SPIKE in America on Friday Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
The two fights join a main event that features a welterweight world title rematch between current division champion Andrey Koreshkov (19-1) and the man who he took it from over a year ago, Douglas Lima (27-6). In addition, one of the newest members of the Bellator MMA family, Noad Lahat (9-2), will challenge fellow featherweight Scott Cleve (15-5) in the evening’s co-main event.
Bellator has partnered with Ananey Communications, an Israeli television conglomerate boasting 14 channels, several of which showcase Viacom content including the EGO and EGO TOTAL channels which have broadcast Bellator in Israel since 2012.
Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at Bellator.com or Eventim.co.il/mma.
Karakhanyan delivered one of the most spectacular performances of his 10-year career in his most recent appearance at “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull,” finishing top featherweight prospect Bubba Jenkins with a first round knockout just 53 seconds into the contest. Karakhanyan seems to be Jenkins’ kryptonite, as the 31-year-old Russian has now handed the former NCAA wrestling champion two of his three career losses. With 14 of his 25 career wins coming by way of submission, “Insane” hopes to add to that total and finish Medvedovsky; something only one other opponent has been able to accomplish. Perhaps the taller task for Karakhanyan will be to quiet the undoubtedly rowdy crowd expected inside Menora Mivtachim Arena, as he challenges the young Israeli star in enemy territory.
Born on November 14, the recently signed 23-year-old Medvedovsky hopes to unwrap an early birthday present inside Menora Mivtachim Arena. The Netanya, Israel native enters his bout with a record of 6-1, with one knockout and a pair of submission finishes. Coming off of back-to-back first round victories, Medvedovsky hopes to make quick work of his younger opponent Gallagher and give his hometown fans exactly what they came to see.
A native of Lviv Oblast, Ukraine, Ovchynnikova will be making her second appearance under the Bellator MMA banner, following her promotional debut at the beginning of this year. The 15-fight veteran began her career in 2006, earning victories in each of her first eight bouts, including six submission finishes. One of the best strikers in her weight class, “Hunter” has also recorded eight career wins by way of submission, including six of the armbar variety. If history is any indication of her gameplan, fans can expect to see Ovchynnikova take this fight to the ground early, as she prepares to dispose of the wily veteran Benitez in front of a packed house on November 10.
Competing professionally since 2007, Benitez will finally get the opportunity to fight for a top-tier promotion based in the United States following 24-fights on the regional circuit. Boasting 13 victories with 10 finishes, the Venezuelan native has taken on fighters the likes of current UFC champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and other top talents like Aisling Daly, Tina Lahdemaki, and women’s MMA pioneer Megumi Fuji. Now, under the bright lights of Bellator MMA, Benitez will look to put herself amongst the elite at 125-pounds, and a win over Ovchynnikova in Israel would certainly help her cause.
Bellator 164: Koreshkov vs. Lima 2 Main Card:
- Welterweight World Title Bout: Andrey Koreshkov (19-1) vs. Douglas Lima (27-6)
- Featherweight Feature Bout: Noad Lahat (9-2) vs. Scott Cleve (15-5)
- Featherweight Feature Bout: Georgi Karakhanyan (25-6-1) vs. Kirill Medvedovsky (6-1)
- Flyweight Feature Bout: Lena Ovchynnikova (10-4) vs. Karla Benitez (13-9-1)
Complete Preliminary Card:
- Welterweight Preliminary Fight: Joaquin Buckley (6-0) vs. Jackie Gosh (6-0)
- Light Heavyweight Preliminary Fight: Chen Shhori (Debut) vs. Kfir Eittan (2-0)
- Welterweight Preliminary Fight: Haitham Kiuof (Debut) vs. Moshe Rand (3-2)
- Lightweight Preliminary Fight: Rob Becker (Debut) vs. Ejargew Tariku (1-0)
- Welterweight Preliminary Fight: Sol Renato (Debut) vs. Alex Trofimov (Debut)
- Bantamweight Preliminary Fight: Almog Shay (Debut) vs. Vitaly Khmeinytsky (Debut)
- Lightweight Preliminary Fight: Olga Rubin (Debut) vs. Laurita Cibirite (Debut)
- Bantamweight Preliminary Fight: Raz Bring (Debut) vs. Maor Kazalkopy (Debut)
- Middleweight Preliminary Fight: Alexander Nikulin (Debut) vs. Avi Baron (Debut)
- Bantamweight Preliminary Fight: Onor Keles (Debut) vs. Omri Barel (Debut)
- Welterweight Preliminary Fight: Zane Clerk (Debut) vs. Haim Gozali (6-3)