A rematch of one of the more unremarkable championship fights in recent memory will take place on April 8 at Bellator 176.
Rafael Carvalho will defend his Bellator Middleweight Championship against rival Melvin Manhoef. The two competed in a highly criticized bout at Bellator 155 that saw very little actually happen, on the way to a controversial Carvalho win. According to MMADecisions.com, all media members who submitted scores, and 94 percent of fan submitted scores had Manhoef winning.
The two were scheduled to rematch at Bellator 168, but an injury forced Carvalho out of the fight.
You can check out the press release Bellator MMA sent Fightful.com below.
A middleweight championship fight pitting Rafael Carvalho (13-1) against Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC) will serve as the main event of Bellator 176, which takes place inside Pala Alpitour in Torino, Italy on Saturday, April 8.
In addition, Bellator Kickboxing 5 will immediately follow the mixed martial arts action with some highly-anticipated matchups of its own. Bellator’s Women’s Flyweight World Champion Denise Kielholtz (46-3) is set to defend her belt for the first time against ISKA and WKU World Champion Martine Michieletto (34-12-5). In lightweight action, “The Doctor” Giorgio Petrosyan (83-2-2, 1NC) will prepare for Romanian veteran Amansio Paraschiv (23-5-1).
Bellator MMA’s return to Torino features a clash of undefeated welterweights Carrington “Jetsetter” Banks (6-0) and Mihail Nica (5-0), as well as a lightweight battle pitting Djamil Chan (12-3) against Valeriu Mircea (13-4). Additional bouts will be announced shortly.
Bellator 176: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2 and Bellator Kickboxing 5 will be aired on SPIKE in America and further broadcast details will be announced shortly.Tickets for the event are available now at www.oktagon.it and include access to an Oktagon Kickboxing event in addition to both Bellator events.
The Brazilian powerhouse Carvalho will enter the cage for the fifth time under the direction of Bellator MMA; a promotion with which he has collected four victories under, including a pair of impressive knockouts. Over his six-year professional career, the 30-year-old Carvalho has collected 10 knockout wins, including five of the first-round variety. The Bellator 185-pound world champion currently has his eyes set on defending his belt, all the while protecting an extraordinary 13-fight winning streak dating back to 2012. Hailing from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Carvalho will prepare to take on Manhoef for an enticing rematch on Saturday, April 8.
Fighting out of Amsterdam, Netherlands, the former Strikeforce competitor Melvin Manhoef will be making his sixth appearance under the Bellator MMA banner and first since his controversial split decision loss to Carvalho during the main event of Bellator 155. “No Mercy” has collected victories in three of his past five bouts, all of which have come by way of first round knockout, including a memorable finish over Hisaki Kato. With 28 of his 30 career victories coming by way of knockout, as well as nine additional knockouts in the kickboxing ring, the 40-year-old Manhoef is as dynamic and fearless as they come in Bellator’s middleweight division. The 22-year veteran will have an opportunity to redeem himself against Carvalho, as the two prepare for battle in the main event of Bellator MMA’s return to Pala Alpitour in Torino, Italy.