Three contests have been added to Bellator 156: Galvao vs. Dantas 2 on June 17 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., with the news that Chris Honeycutt (7-1) will move up to middleweight to face Mikkel Parlo (13-2) in main card action, while Ben Reiter (16-1) versus A.J. Matthews (8-4) and Ricky Rainey (11-4) against Thiago Jambo (18-4) will take place during the preliminary stream.
The fights complete a card that features a Bellator MMA Bantamweight Title matchup pitting Marcos Galvao (17-6-1) against Eduardo Dantas (17-4). In addition, welterweights Chidi Njokuani (14-4) and Douglas Lima (26-6) will duke it out in the evening’s co-main event and Brandon Halsey (9-1) meets John Salter (11-3) in an intriguing middleweight scrap.
A Fresno native, Honeycutt, will return home after a one-fight hiatus when he faces Parlo in a middleweight bout on June 17. “The Cutt” is coming off of an impressive unanimous decision victory over Matt Secor at Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson, his third win since joining Bellator MMA and the seventh of his young career. The 27-year-old began his occupation undefeated with four knockouts and three first round finishes, earning the distinction of being one of the welterweight division’s rising stars. Now, in a new weight class, it will be interesting to see how Honeycutt performs.
Parlo will return to the Bellator fray for the first time in nearly two years, riding a two-fight winning streak and a stretch of four victories in his last five bouts. After beginning his career undefeated, the Danish middleweight posted a 4-2 record for the Viacom-owned promotion, which was highlighted by a ferocious knockout win in his promotional debut at Bellator 78. With fights against competitors the likes of Brennan Ward already under his belt, Honeycutt will continue the trend of Parlo facing stiff competition.
A native of New York, Reiter began his career on a spectacular hot streak, recording 16 wins in his first 17 professional fights. The 28-year-old middleweight made 15 appearances under the direction of regional promotions before signing with Bellator MMA in 2014, where he has since strung together a 2-1 record with impressive victories over Benji Radach and Shamir Garcia. Standing at 6’3’ Reiter will have a slight height advantage over the 5’11’ Matthews when the two step into the cage on June 17.
Matthews also delivered a successful start to his flourishing career, earning wins in each of his first four bouts before joining Bellator MMA. A six fight veteran of the Scott Coker-led promotion, “The Mercenary” has posted a 4-2 record under the promotion’s umbrella, including two first round knockouts and one highlight reel soccer kick knockout over Charlie Rader at Bellator 70. The 28-year-old Calif. native now returns following a stint in Japan with hopes of creating havoc at 185-pounds when he challenges Reiter at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.
Since making his professional debut in 2011, the 32-year-old Rainey has put together a stellar career, including multiple four-fight winning streaks and memorable victories over Jesse Juarez and Andy Murad. After collecting wins in eight of the first 10 fights of his career, the North Carolina native has made five appearances under the Bellator MMA banner, three of which ended in knockout victories for the man many refer to as “The Sniper.” The welterweight knockout artist will be searching for another explosive finish when he enters the cage next.
A native of Brazil, Jambo will look to continue his recent success when he makes his Bellator MMA debut on June 17 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The 35-year-old Jambo has put together an impressive career, recording wins in six of his last seven fights dating back to 2010. With 11 of his 18 victories going to the judges’ table, we can expect Jambo to bring a similar game plan to the cage, as he will try to outlast the knockout specialist standing in front of him.
Complete “Bellator 156: Galvao vs. Dantas 2” Card:
Bellator MMA Bantamweight Title Bout: Marcos Galvao (17-6-1) vs. Eduardo Dantas (17-4)
Bellator MMA Welterweight Co-Main Event: Chidi Njokuani (14-4) vs. Douglas Lima (26-6)
Bellator MMA Middleweight Feature Bout: Brandon Halsey (9-1) vs. John Salter (11-3)
Bellator MMA Middleweight Feature Bout: Chris Honeycutt (7-1) vs. Mikkel Parlo (13-2)
Bellator MMA Middleweight Preliminary Bout: A.J. Matthews (8-4) vs. Ben Reiter (16-1)
Bellator MMA Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Ricky Rainey (11-4) vs. Thiago Jambo (18-4)
Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Jermaine McDermott (2-0) vs. Blake Watkins (5-0)
Bellator MMA 140lb. Preliminary Bout: Paul Ruiz (6-4) vs. Christian Navarro (5-0)
Bellator MMA Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Javy Ayala (8-5) vs. TBD
Bellator MMA Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Nick Bustamante (5-1) vs. Antoine Smith (3-5)
Bellator MMA Lightweight Preliminary Bout: C.J. Keith (8-3) vs. Carrington Banks (4-0)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Justin Smitley (10-7) vs Chris Avila (4-2)
Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: John Paul Elias (3-0) vs. Jose Cabesas (5-8)
Bellator MMA Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Chris Lewis (0-0) vs. TBD
Bellator MMA Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Luis Jauregui (3-2) vs. Ryan Tobar (3-2)