Emmanuel Sanchez replaces an injured Goiti Yamauchi, plus four fights to complete “Bellator: Kongo vs. Volkov”

Emmanuel Sanchez Replaces Injured Goiti Yamauchi; Plus Four Additional Preliminary Bouts Complete 13-Fight “Bellator: Kongo vs. Volkov” Card On June 26


SANTA MONICA, Calif. (June 8, 2015) – With an unfortunate injury forcing the withdrawal of Goiti Yamauchi, Emmanuel “El Matador” Sanchez (10-1) receives the call to step in against former featherweight champion Pat “Paddy Mike” Curran (20-7). With this change of opponent, and four newly announced matchups, “Bellator MMA: Kongo vs. Volkov” on June 26 is now complete with 13 total scraps to sink your teeth into.

The additional fights include heavyweight bouts between Alex Huddleston (5-1) vs. Javy Ayala (8-3) and Derek Bohi (5-4) vs. Frederick Brown (2-1) as well as featherweights Greg Scott (3-3) vs. Gaston Reyno (3-0) and lightweights Marcio Navarro (13-11) vs. Cody Carrillo (8-11).

“Bellator MMA: Kongo vs. Volkov” is headlined by a heavyweight clash between French striking specialist Cheick “The Darkness” Kongo (22-10-2) and former Bellator MMA Heavyweight World Champion Alexander “Drago” Volkov (24-5). The event takes place June 26 at Kansas Star Event Center Arena in Mulvane, Kan.

The night’s main card airs live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts stream on Spike.com at 7 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. CT. Tickets for “Bellator: Kongo vs. Volkov” start at just $17 and are currently available at Ticketmaster.com.

Additional announced pairings on the SPIKE-televised card include lightweights Dave “The Caveman” Rickels (16-3) vs. John “The Natural” Alessio (35-17) and a contest between middleweight sluggers with Joe “Stitch ‘Em Up” Schilling (2-4) vs. Hisaki Kato (4-1).

The 24-year-old Sanchez is an explosive featherweight, fighting with Duke Roufus out of the famed Roufusport gym in Milwaukee. The two-time Bellator veteran has shined throughout his current six-fight winning streak, most recently scoring a first-round rear naked choke over Stephen Banaszak at Bellator 128 followed by a dominant unanimous decision over Costa Rican standout Alejandro Villalobos at Bellator 135 this past March.  Sanchez faces stiff competition in former featherweight kingpin Curran, who has been involved in some of the most memorable Bellator fights of all time.

Huddleston, 28, is a key training has won four consecutive tilts since dropping the first fight of his professional career in 2011. Most recently, “The Shaved Gorilla” stopped Derek Bohl at Bellator 130. Standing opposite Huddleston inside the cage will be the 26-year-old Ayala, who is on a three-fight promotional winning streak of his own. The California native has stopped his last three foes before reaching the judges’ discretion.

In the second added heavyweight feature, Bohl will seek his first win for the Southern California-based promotion. “Marshmallow” has won his first two bouts in 2015 on the regional circuit. Brown will have his second opportunity at success for Bellator against Bohl. The hometown fighter was finished by Daniel Gallemore at Bellator 113, which was his last time in action.

Undefeated at 3-0, Reyno will bring the tenacity he has shown on the independent MMA scene to the Bellator cage. “Tonga” has finished every fight he has been involved in and will look to make a mark on the featherweight division with his debut. Scott, a Whichita native, made his Bellator MMA debut in 2011 and has had a mixed bag of success.

Lastly, a pair of experienced lightweights will round out the preliminary portion of the card when Navarro and Carrillo tangle inside the steel mesh. With 43 professional bouts between them, both veterans will attempt to string together some wins under the Bellator banner.

“Bellator MMA: Kongo vs. Volkov”Friday, June 26, Kanas Star Event Center Arena, Mulvane, Kansas

Main Card (9 p.m. ET)

Bellator Heavyweight Main Event: Cheick Kongo (22-10-2) vs. Alexander Volkov (24-5)

Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Dave Rickels (16-3) vs. John Alessio (35-17)

Bellator Featherweight Feature Fight: Pat Curran (20-7) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (10-1)

Bellator Middleweight Feature Fight: Joe Schilling (2-4) vs. Hisaki Kato (4-1)

Preliminary Card 

Bellator Featherweight Prelim Fight: Bubba Jenkins (8-2) vs. Joe Wilk (18-10)

Bellator Bantamweight Prelim Fight: Jeimeson Saudino (8-4) vs. Aaron Ely (4-2)

Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Bobby Cooper (12-5) vs. Pablo Villaseca (9-0)

Bellator Heavyweight Prelim Fight: Daniel Gallemore (4-2) vs. Augusto Sakai (7-0)

Bellator Female Featherweight Prelim Fight: Iony Razafiarison (2-0) vs. Bryanna Fissori (1-0)

Bellator Heavyweight Prelim Fight: Alex Huddleston (5-1) vs. Javy Ayala (8-3)

Bellator Featherweight Prelim Fight: Greg Scott (3-3) vs. Gaston Reyno (3-0)

Bellator Heavyweight Prelim Fight: Derek Bohi (5-4) vs. Frederick Brown (2-1)

Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Marcio Navarro (13-11) vs. Cody Carrillo (8-11)


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