Rafael Carvalho (12-1) will make his first defense of the Bellator MMA Middleweight Championship against heavy-handed Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef (30-12-1) in the main event of Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef on May 20 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.
Carvalho’s second-round body kick knockout of Brandon Halsey at Bellator 144: Halsey vs. Carvalho was the third biggest oddsmaker upset in 2015, and extended his current winning streak to 12. The 29-year-old will be making his fourth appearance under the Bellator MMA banner and has an impressive finishing rate of 83 percent.
With a resume of knockouts as violent as Manhoef, it’s no surprise the Dutch competitor has been given the nickname of “No Mercy.” Known for his relentless striking style, the former K-1 and Strikeforce competitor is fresh off his emphatic knockout of Hisaki Kato at “Bellator 146: Manhoef vs. Kato” in November. Now the 39-year-old is in position to lay claim to the Bellator 185-pound MMA title, before returning to kickboxing competition in the newly founded Bellator Kickboxing league.
It’s hard to find a Bellator MMA fighter with as many memorable moments for the Scott Coker-led promotion as Pat Curran. The former featherweight kingpin has been involved in wars with fighters the likes of: current champion Daniel Straus, Patricio Freire, Daniel Weichel, and Joe Warren. Now “Paddy Mike” sets his sights on “Insane,” in a bout that surely has future title implications at stake.
Karakhanyan made a splash in his return to Bellator MMA in 2015, choking out Bubba Jenkins in his first fight for the Viacom-owned promotion since 2011. Now, the Millenia MMA standout will put his knack for submitting opponents (14x) to the test against Curran, a fighter who has only been submitted once in 28-fights.
Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef Fight Card
Bellator MMA Middleweight World Title Fight: Rafael Carvalho (12-1) vs. Melvin Manhoef (30-12-1)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Co-Main Event: Pat Curran (21-7) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (24-5-1)