After an impressive Bellator debut in March, Rafael Lovato Jr. is coming back for more.
Lovato (5-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) will welcome former UFC fighter Mike Rhodes (10-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) to the promotion when the two face off at Bellator 181, a Bellator official confirmed today to MMAjunkie.
Bellator 181 takes July 14 at Winstar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla.. The main card, headlined by a rematch between Patricky Freire and Derek Campos, airs live on Spike. The Lovato-Rhodes middleweight bout is set for the prelims, which will stream on MMAjunkie.
Following a successful run to the Legacy FC middleweight championship, Lovato made the jump to Bellator in March. The 33-year-old dismantled Charles Hackmann for a TKO victory in just 13 seconds to remain undefeated with all five of his wins coming by stoppage.
Rhodes will enter the more experienced fighter, with 14 bouts under his belt. That includes a three-fight UFC stint in 2014, all losses, which included dropping a unanimous decision to current UFC title challenger Robert Whittaker at UFC Fight Night 43. Since then, Rhodes has reeled off four straight victories, though his last fight will have been more than a year ago in Victory Fighting Championship.
The latest Bellator 181 card includes:
- Patricky Freire vs. Derek Campos
- Kendall Grove vs. John Salter
- Emily Ducote vs. Valerie Letourneau
- Steve Garcia vs. Joe Warren
- Justin Lawrence vs. Treston Thomison
- Andre Fialho vs. A.J. Matthews
- Amanda Bell vs. Alexis Dufresne
- Javy Ayala vs. Valentin Moldavsky
- Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. Mike Rhodes