SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (November 30, 2016) – A lightweight bout pitting Goiti Yamauchi (20-3) against Valeriu Mircea (12-3) completes the MMA portion of "Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2," on a night which will feature both Bellator MMA and Bellator Kickboxing brands inside the Mandela Forum in Florence.
In addition, due to an injury suffered by Pietro Cappelli, Philipe Lins (10-1) will now meet Kleber Raimundo Silva (12-7) in light heavyweight action on Dec. 10.
The mixed martial arts portion of action on Dec. 10is headlined by a middleweight world title fight featuring a rematch between Rafael Carvalho (13-1) and Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC), while Italy's own Alessio Sakara (18-11, 2 NC) will take on Joey Beltran (17-13, 1 NC) at 205-pounds, and John Salter (12-3) meets Claudio Annicchiarico (1-4) in a middleweight bout. "Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2" will air LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 4pm ET.
The Bellator Kickboxing card features a female flyweight rematch between Denise Kielholtz (45-3) and Gloria Peritore (11-1-1), but this time, a world title will be on the line. "Bellator Kickboxing: Florence" will also feature a lightweight clash between Giorgio Petrosyan (82-2-2, 1 NC) and British kickboxing champion Jordan Watson (48-11-2), a middleweight matchup pitting Joe Schilling (19-9) against Victorio Lermano (30-7), a welterweight contest pairing Luca Novello (22-4-2) with Karim Ghajji (96-13-1), and Kevin Ross (31-9) will meet Alessio Arduini (26-14-2) in a lightweight fight. "Bellator Kickboxing: Florence" airs Friday, Dec. 16 at 11:15 pm ET, immediately following "Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii."
An 8-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, Yamauchi enters the cage in search of his 21st career win and seventh under the Scott Coker-led promotion. You would be hard-pressed to find a fighter with more promise than the 23-year-old top prospect, who has already taken down proven veterans the likes of Martin Stapleton, Isao Kobayashi, and most recently Ryan Couture. The former featherweight returned to the lightweight division to face the aforementioned Couture earlier in the year at "Bellator 162: Shlemenko vs. Grove," a fight in which Yamauchi dominated from the get-go, earning yet another first round submission victory. Yamauchi has finished his opponent in 17 of his 20 career wins, including 14 in the opening round of action. The Japanese-Brazilian submission specialist continues to make great strides in the sport, consistently displaying the flawless Brazilian jiu-jitsu technique that has given opponents many nightmares year after year.
Challenging Yamauchi will be Valeriu Mircea, a Moldova-born competitor that has also seen a great deal of success early on in his MMA career. The 23-year-old knockout artist will be making his Bellator MMA debut following three consecutive victories, including a pair of first round knockouts. Dating back to 2015, Mircea has collected wins in nine of his last 10 bouts and has already tallied six victories over his 2016 campaign. With three of his last four wins coming by way of first round knockout, you can expect an early array of attack in this pairing of two top prospects.
Taking on Lins will now be Raimundo Silva, a 28-year-old striker who will be making both his 2016 and Bellator MMA debut. Dating back to 2011, "Orgulho" has won seven of his last 11 contests, highlighted by his most recent knockout victory over Claudio Rocha, which came just 3:25 into the first round.
Complete "Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2" Card:
Middleweight World Title Bout: Rafael Carvalho (13-1) vs. Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC)
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Alessio Sakara (18-11, 2 NC) vs. Joey Beltran (17-13, 1 NC)
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Philipe Lins (10-1) vs. Kleber Raimundo Silva (12-7)
Middleweight Feature Fight: John Salter (12-3) vs. Claudio Annicchiarico (1-4)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Goiti Yamauchi (31-9) vs. Valeriu Mircea (12-3)
Complete "Bellator Kickboxing: Florence" Card:
Lightweight Feature Fight: Giorgio Petrosyan (82-2-2, 1 NC) vs. Jordan Watson (48-11-2)
Flyweight World Title: Denise Kielholtz (45-3) vs. Gloria Peritore (11-1-1)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Joe Schilling (19-9) vs. Victorio Lermano (30-7)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Luca Novello (22-4-2) vs. Karim Ghajji (96-13-1)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Kevin Ross (31-9) vs. Alessio Arduini (26-14-2)
Bellator is a leading Mixed Martial Arts and Kickboxing organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike, the combat sports television leader. Bellator is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.
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