BELLATOR 125 PREVIEW
Bellator 125 returns to California this Friday September 19th from the Save Center in Fresno California, airing live on Spike. Bellator will feature a Middleweight Main Event between the much anticipated debut of Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef squaring off against Doug “The Rhino” Marshall. Melvin Manhoef bounced back from a 2 fight losing streak last April at Gringo Super Fight 10, with a spectacular knock out win just 46 seconds in the first round over Evangelista Santos. Manhoef is known for his incredible knock out power, holding a record of (28-1-1) out his 28 wins, 26 of them were by way of TKO or KO. Melvin Manhoef will be going up against Doug Marshall (18-7) who also possesses knock out power putting up a record with 12 of his 18 wins by TKO or KO. The 37 year old Doug “The Rhino” Marshall was recently riding a 3 fight win streak since he debut in Bellator in 2012. However, that streak ended when he was knocked out by shots to the body by the heavy hands of Alexander Schelmenko last November at Bellator 109.
The Co-main event will showcase a Middleweight bout between Rafael Carvalho (9-1) vs. Brian Rogers (11-6).Brian Rogers was originally set to face Brett Cooper until he recently had to withdraw from the fight after suffering a back injury during training. Rafael Carvalho is now set to fight Rogers, Carvalho is looking to continue his 8 fight win streak, with 7 of those wins via knockout. Brian Rogers has gone 2-4 under the Bellator banner. Rogers was coming off losing two straight fights, until he got back on track at Bellator 119 in May with an impressive flying knee KO over Adrian Miles.
We will also get to see a Featherweight feature match-up between Martin Stapleton (13-3) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (17-2). The 31 year old UK native Marin Stapleton won his last fight by a submission (guillotine choke), over Stanislav Enchev under the FCC banner. Stapleton is set against Japans own Goiti Yamauchi, he has won three out of his last fights since he joined Bellator in 2013. We last saw 21 year old Yamauchi at Bellator 120 where he pulled off a decision win over Mike Richman.
Rounding out the main card on Spike TV, Javy Ayala (7-3) will take on Raphael Butler (8-0-1) in a Heavyweight battle. The 6’3 Heavyweight undefeated Raphael Butler will be looking to continue his undefeated record, Butler has finished all 8 of his fights, 6 by way of TKO/KO and 3 by way of submissions. Javy Ayala is riding a 2 fight win streak finishing both of his 2 last fights by way of TKO and KO over Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos.
Starting off the Spike.com portion of the night we will have two Welterweight features fights. Two California natives will square off. The former Welterweight tournament finalist; Ron Keslar (11-6) will take on the veteran Jesse Juarez (21-9).
Fresno’s home town undefeated Chris Honeycutt (4-0) will be making his debut against England’s top prospect Aaron Wilkinson (11-6).
The undefeated Brazilian Featherweight Julio Cesar Neves (29-0) will be looking to continue his 29 straight win streak, against California’s own Poppies Martinez (29-10) who is coming off a loss to Bubba Jenkins, where he was knocked out early in the first round at Bellator 122.
Hailing from California we have 2 match-ups making their debut into Bellator MMA. First off, a Middleweight battle between Granson Clark (2-1) vs. George Zuniga (2-0) and a Featherweight fight with Joe Neal (3-0) against Paul Ruiz (5-1).
Finishing off the Spike.com card we have two Featherweight battles between Oscar Ramirez (3-1) vs. Matt Ramirez (debut) and a Featherweight Feature Fight: Joe Neal (3-0) vs. Paul Ruiz (5-1). Lastly, a former Strikeforce competitor is making his debut Nate James (13-8) is meeting MMA veteran Anthony Ruiz (33-18) in a Middleweight fight.
Middleweight Feature Fight: Doug Marshall (18-7) vs. Melvin Manhoef (28-11-1)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Rafael Carvalho (9-1) vs. Brian Rogers (11-6)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Martin Stapleton (13-3) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (17-2)
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Javy Ayala (7-3) vs. Raphael Butler (8-0-1)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Ron Keslar (11-6) vs. Jesse Juarez (21-9)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Aaron Wilkinson (11-6) vs. Chris Honeycutt (4-0)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Julio Cesar Neves (29-0) vs. Poppies Martinez (29-10)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Granson Clark (2-1) vs. George Zuniga (2-0)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Jonny Bonilla-Bowman (2-0) vs. Sergio Cortez (9-8)
Flyweight Feature Fight: Oscar Ramirez (3-1) vs. Matt Ramirez (debut)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Joe Neal (3-0) vs. Paul Ruiz (5-1)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Nate James (13-8) vs. Anthony Ruiz (33-18)
(Photo: Esther Lin/Strikeforce)
(Photo: Bellator MMA)
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