BILOXI, MS – All-action heavyweight titans Alan Belcher and Roy “Big Country” Nelson are set to clash in an explosive five-round bareknuckle MMA battle as they headline Jorge Masvidal’s Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA event on Friday, November 10, from Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi and streaming live on the Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA YouTube Channel.
“We’re excited to be back in Biloxi at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum for what’s lined up to be the most stacked bareknuckle card in history,” said Jorge Masvidal, CEO of Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA. “On November 10, you’re gonna see bout after bout of guys willing to go in there and bring the fight from the opening bell. This is competition in its purest form and it’s our duty to make sure that each event gives fans exactly what they’re looking for. All of it is topped by a truly explosive main event, with two dangerous destroyers in Alan Belcher and Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson. There’s no exaggeration when we say this is a ‘don’t blink’ kind of night.”
“We’re really proud to bring a card like this to the great fight fans in Mississippi,” said Dean Toole, President of Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA. “This event has everything a fight fan could hope for. Each fight on here could really be the ‘Fight of the Night’, so everyone is gonna want to make sure to get in their seat or tune in early to this one.”
Born and raised in Biloxi, the hometown hero Belcher (18-8 pro MMA record) is unbeaten since returning from an eye injury in 2021. Along the way, Belcher won a bareknuckle boxing heavyweight championship and scored impressive victories over Tony Lopez, Arnold Adams, Frank Tate and Bobo O’Bannon. Belcher earned nine victories during an impressive 15-fight run with UFC that ended with a technical decision loss to Michael Bisping. He also has recent experience on the Gamebred circuit, having stopped Cameron Graham in one round at a Gamebred Boxing event in May 2022.
“I’m honored to fight a legend in my backyard for my comeback into full MMA rules,” said Belcher. “I’m 100% focused on Roy, and I’ll be ready for war on November 10.”
The Las Vegas native Nelson (23-19 career MMA record) made his Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA debut in May, as he stopped Dillon Cleckler in the first round of their main event showdown with a sensational one-punch KO. In his storied career, Nelson has competed as an MMA heavyweight since 2004, for elite organizations such as the UFC, Bellator, EliteXC, the IFL, BodogFIGHT. A likeable “every man” with dynamite in his fists and iron in his jaw, Nelson won The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights reality show and went on to gain tremendous popularity and success as a top-10 UFC Heavyweight. Nelson is also the former IFL Heavyweight Champion, fighting for Ken Shamrock and the Lion’s Den. He holds notable victories over Mirko Cro Cop, Kimbo Slice, Cheick Kongo, and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira.
“I’m excited to be one the first pioneers in Bareknuckle MMA,” said Nelson. “I’m happy that Jorge Masvidal and Dean Toole love combat sports and are always trying to make new progress in this space by bringing top talent and exciting shows to fans. I’m looking forward to going to my enemy’s territory, fighting a bareknuckle champion and giving Alan Belcher’s hometown something to remember. I know Alan is coming on a 10-fight winning streak to become champion, and I am here to break that goose egg.”
The stacked undercard will be headlined by a “bombs away” three-round showdown between heavyweight brawlers Alex “The Spartan” Nicholson and Dillon “Bad Boy” Cleckler, plus a pair of Mississippi fan favorites will see action, as Chase “The Vanilla Gorilla” Sherman duels Samoan veteran Carl “Badwater” Seumanutafa and Jason “The Kid” Knight takes on Randy “The Zohan” Costa in separate bouts.
Fighting out of Orlando, Florida, Nicholson (17-10 career MMA record) will rematch Cleckler (11-2 career MMA record) after winning their 2015 Island Fights showdown in spectacular fashion with a spinning backfist in the second round. The 33-year-old is a veteran of UFC and PFL throughout a pro career that dates back to 2014. Against Cleckler, he will be competing for a Masvidal promotion for the third time, having defeated Tony Lopez and Johnathan Ivey at different events in 2021.
Pensacola, Florida’s Cleckler also competes in bareknuckle boxing and boxing and has become known as a vicious and powerful striker. Cleckler lost a thrilling Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA showdown with Roy Nelson in May, his first MMA bout since 2019. During his time away from the sport, Cleckler competed in four bareknuckle boxing fights, with his only loss coming to Arnold Adams in a championship fight in May 2022.
A native of D’lberville, Mississippi, Sherman (16-12 career MMA record) has appeared in the UFC octagon no less than 15 times and bested Rashad Coulter, Damian Grabowski, Jared Vanderaa and Ike Villanueva along the way. The 33-year-old also owns recent bareknuckle boxing experience as he defeated Arnold Adams, in addition to a draw against Sam Shewmaker and a decision loss to Joey Beltran, in a busy 2019.
Now fighting out of San Francisco, Seumanutafa (13-14 career MMA record) has competed for Bellator and PFL, including a stoppage of Javy Ayala on a 2016 Bellator card. Seumanutafa has already fought three times in 2023, including a triumph on May’s Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA card that saw him score a unanimous decision over Jamahl Tatum.
Representing Alan Belcher’s MMA Club, Lucedale, Mississippi’s Knight (23-7 career MMA record) burst into the national spotlight in 2015 and once scored four-straight UFC triumphs. The 31-year-old will also bring extensive bareknuckle experience to the cage. Knight split a pair of bare-knuckle boxing matches against Artem Lobov in 2019 and emerged victorious via rear naked choke in a 2021 Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA bout against the legendary Charles Bennett.
Fighting out of his hometown of Taunton, Massachusetts, Costa (7-4 career MMA record) fought six times for the UFC between 2019 and 2021. The 29-year-old most recently won via first round KO in a Combat FC duel against Carlos Espinosa in June.
The action continues with former Bellator MMA and bareknuckle boxing cruiserweight champion Hector Lombard stepping into the ring to face Chris Sarro. Cuba’s Lombard (34-10-1 career MMA record) now fights out of Miami and put together an impressive bareknuckle run, going 3-1 with triumphs over Joe Riggs, Kendall Grove and David Mundell. Owning MMA victories over Sean O’Malley, Jake Shields and Dan Henderson, Lombard has competed for UFC in addition to winning a Bellator championship. Sarro (1-0 career MMA record) fights out of Ellsworth, Maine and has extensive bareknuckle boxing experience, owning a 3-4 record in the discipline.
In bantamweight action, Joe “The Party” Penafiel will battle another Mississippi fan-favorite in the always exciting Brandon “Killer B” Davis. Penafiel (11-6 career MMA record) has fought twice with Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA, including a matchup in September against Joey Ruquet. Penafiel is also a veteran of Cage Titans FC, Jorge Masvidal’s iKon Fighting Championship, Lights Out Championship, CES MMA, Atlas Fights, Island Fights and Southern Combat Sports. Mississippi’s Davis (14-11 career MMA record) has competed in the UFC and made his Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA debut in September, dropping a decision to Ago Huskic.
A middleweight tilt will pit Curtis “Curtious” Millender up against Joel “King Bau” Bauman. Anaheim, California’s Millender (21-9 career MMA record) has competed for UFC, PFL and Bellator, in addition to three career pro boxing wins. Millender won his first three UFC outings and most recently won a unanimous decision over Sidiah Parker in September. The 32-year-old Bauman (7-3 MMA record) owns two victories in Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA events, having recently dispatched Maki Pitolo in September. Fighting out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bauman has previous experience in Bellator and Fury FC.
Featherweight brawlers will enter the ring as Ago “The Bosnian Dragon” Huskic and Mississippi’s Joshua Weems go toe-to-toe. The 29-year-old Huskic (8-6 career MMA record) is originally from Bosnia and now fights out of Iowa. In addition to competing for PFL, Huskic is 1-1 in Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA bouts, including a unanimous decision over Brandon Davis in September. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Weems (11-3 career MMA record) bested Irwin Rivera in September for his second Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA victory.
The lineup will also see Brazil’s Francisco Trinaldo duel Hong Kong’s Sasha Palatnikov in a welterweight attraction. Trinaldo (28-9 career MMA record) competed 26 times in the UFC, earning 18 victories including wins over Danny Roberts, Jai Herbert, Jim Miller and Paul Felder. Now fighting out of Las Vegas, Palatnikov (8-5 career MMA record) has competed in professional karate on top of his three UFC bouts.
In a welterweight tussle, James Freeman will step in against Memphis-native Tyler Hill. Freeman (6-5 career MMA record) fights out of Florida and won five of his first six contests after turning pro. Most recently, Freeman dropped a Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA showdown to Cody Herbert in December 2021. Born in Memphis and now fighting out of Biloxi, Hill (11-7 career MMA record) has fought on Bellator and PFL shows in a career that dates back to 2014. His last outing saw him drop a Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA contest to Jhonasky Sojo in September.
Rounding out the night are a pair of light heavyweights familiar with Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA as Dennis LaBruzza battles Javanis “The Conqueror” Ross. Fighting out of Mississippi, LaBruzza (1-0 career MMA record) owns two Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA victories on top of a 1-1 record in bareknuckle boxing, Starke, Florida’s Ross (4-4 career MMA record) has put together a 2-1 record in Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA fights in addition to competing in pro boxing and kickboxing bouts.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.