Bellator 190 post-event facts: Rafael Carvalho Bellator's most successful champ – by a long shot

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Filed under: Bellator, News

Rafael Carvalho’s dominance of the Bellator middleweight division continued on Saturday when he beat Alessio Sakara for his third consecutive title defense in Bellator 190’s headliner.

Carvalho (15-1 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) remained unbeaten in the Bellator cage and tied the record for most consecutive 185-pound title defenses when he scored a 44-second finish of Sakara (19-12 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) in the Spike-televised headliner at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy.

For more on the numbers behind Carvalho’s credentials, check below for 20 post-event facts to come out of Bellator 190.

* * * *

General

Betting favorites went 1-3 on the main card.

Betting favorites improved to 16-4 (with one even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the four-bout main card was 31:50.

Main card

Rafael Carvalho

Carvalho’s three consecutive Bellator title defenses are the most among current champions and as many as all other champions combined. No one else has more than one.

Carvalho’s three consecutive Bellator middleweight title defenses are tied with Alexander Shlemenko for most in history.

Carvalho’s 44-second victory marked the second fastest title-fight stoppage in Bellator history. Only Brandon Halsey’s 35-second win at Bellator 126 was faster.

Carvalho extended his winning streak to 15 fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since his MMA debut in December 2011.

Carvalho’s six-fight Bellator winning streak is the longest active streak in the division.

Carvalho has earned 12 of his 15 career victories by stoppage.

Carvalho has earned all 12 of his career stoppage victories by knockout.

Rafael Carvalho and Alessio Sakara

Sakara fell to 3-1 (with one no-contest) since his UFC tenure ended in October 2013.

Sakara has suffered eight of his 12 career losses by stoppage.

Sakara suffered his first knockout loss since Apr. 14, 2012 – a span of 2,065 days (more than five years) and seven fights.

Brandon Girtz (15-7 MMA, 7-5 BMMA) snapped his three-fight losing skid for his first victory since November 2015.

Girtz has earned 11 of his 15 career victories by stoppage. That includes five of his seven Bellator wins.

Brandon Girtz and Luka Jelcic

Luka Jelcic (10-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) has suffered both of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Alejandra Lara (7-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) has earned six of her seven career victories by stoppage.

Lena Ovchynnikova (12-5 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) fell to 4-5 (with one no-contest) in her past 10 fights.

Ovchynnikova suffered her first submission loss since Mar. 11, 2012 – a span of 2,099 days (nearly six years) and nine fights.

Mihail Nica (6-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) had his six-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

For complete coverage of Bellator 190, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 190 highlights: A 44-second title fight and uppercuts from hell

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Once Saturday’s Bellator 190 main card got going, the finishes quickly piled up.

In the championship headliner, middleweight titleholder Rafael Carvalho (15-1 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) needed just 44 seconds to put away challenger and local favorite Alessio Sakara (19-12 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) with elbows and punches.

Check out the highlights above.

Bellator 190 took place at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy, and aired via same-day tape delay on Spike.

In the co-headliner, veteran lightweight Brandon Girtz (15-7 MMA, 7-5 BMMA) halted a three-fight skid in a big way after scoring a first-round knockout victory over Luka Jelcic (10-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with some hellacious uppercuts.

Also on the card, flyweight Alejandra Lara (6-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) made a successful promotional debut and scored a big upset after submitting veteran Lena Ovchynnikova (12-5 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) via third-round submission. Additionally, lightweight Carlos Leal Miranda (11-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) kicked off the main card and cruised to a lopsided unanimous-decision win over Mihail Nica (6-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA).

For complete coverage of Bellator 190, including a full event recap, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of Bellator 190

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a Bellator win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s Bellator 190 in Italy went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Rafael Carvalho def. Alessio Sakara via knockout (elbow) – Round 1, 0:44

Rafael Carvalho: “Ja Posso Suportar” by Pregador Luo

Alessio Sakara: “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas

Brandon Girtz def. Luka Jelcic via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 1:57

Brandon Girtz: “Dead Man Walking” by Cayvs

Luka Jelcic: “Bolt Thrower” by The Killchain

Alejandra Lara def. Lena Ovchynnikova via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:09

Alejandra Lara: “Sonido Bestial” by Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz

Lena Ovchynnikova: “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence

Carlos Leal Miranda def. Mihail Nica via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Carlos Leal Miranda: “Isaias 9” by Rodolfo Abrantes

Mihail Nica: “Sent To Gaja”

For complete coverage of Bellator 190, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter reacts to Rafael Carvalho's brutal KO of Alessio Sakara in Bellator 190 title defense

Rafael Carvalho dominated again at Bellator 190 when he put Alessio Sakara away in a mere 44 seconds.

Middleweight champ Carvalho (15-1 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) stayed unbeaten and defended his title for the third time in the Bellator cage when a big elbow led to a violent knockout in the Spike-televised title bout at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Carvalho’s victory over Sakara at Bellator 191.

* * * *

For complete coverage of Bellator 191, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Will home pressure get to Alessio Sakara in Bellator 190 headliner? Jimmy Smith weighs in

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Is the pressure on for Alessio Sakara when he fights for Bellator in front of his home fans in Italy?

If there’s pressure being a home fan favorite, and being the de facto top guy for a whole country, Sakara hasn’t shown it so far. Both his Bellator fights have taken place in Italy, and both have resulted in TKO wins.

Bellator analyst Jimmy Smith thinks the home momentum being on Sakara’s side this week could play a huge factor when he tries to capture the promotion’s middleweight title.

Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) challenges champ Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) in the Bellator 190 main event, which takes place Saturday at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence with a main card that airs at 8 p.m. ET on Spike via tape-delay.

Check out the video above to hear from Smith about Sakara’s return to Italy and what it means to the fans there.

And for more on Bellator 190, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 190 pre-event facts: Champ Rafael Carvalho goes for title-defense record

Bellator heads back overseas this week for Bellator 190, which takes place Friday at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy, with a main card that airs on Spike.

A middleweight title fight takes center stage as the main event when reigning titleholder Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) looks to match the division’s all-time title-defense record when he meets Italy’s own Alessio Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA).

For more on the numbers behind the 185-pound title fight, as well as the other bouts scheduled for the main card, check out 17 pre-event facts about Bellator 190.

* * * *

Main event

Rafael Carvalho and Scott Coker

Carvalho’s two consecutive Bellator title defenses are the most among current Bellator champions.

Carvalho’s two consecutive Bellator middleweight title defenses are second most in history behind Alexander Shlemenko (three).

Carvalho enters the event on a 14-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since his MMA debut in December 2011.

Carvalho’s five-fight Bellator winning streak in middleweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Carvalho has earned 11 of his 14 career victories by stoppage.

Carvalho has earned all 11 of his career stoppage victories by knockout.

Alessio Sakara

Sakara, 36, is the oldest of the eight scheduled main-card fighters.

Sakara is 3-0 (with one no-contest) since his UFC tenure ended in October 2013 with four consecutive losses.

Sakara has earned both of his Bellator victories by knockout.

Remaining main card

Brandon Girtz

Brandon Girtz (14-7 MMA, 6-5 BMMA) enters the event on a three-fight losing skid. He hasn’t earned a victory since November 2015.

Girtz has earned 11 of his 15 career victories by stoppage. That includes four of his six Bellator wins.

Luka Jelcic (10-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) has earned nine of his 10 career victories by stoppage. He’s finished nine of those wins in Round 1.

Lena Ovchynnikova (12-4 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) is 4-4 (with one no-contest) in her past nine fights after starting her career with an 8-0 record.

Ovchynnikova’s two-fight winning streak in Bellator flyweight competition is tied for the second longest active streak in the division behind champ Ilima Macfarlane (six).

Alejandra Lara (6-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), 23, is the youngest of the eight scheduled main card fighters.

Mihail Nica (6-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) has earned all six of his career victories by stoppage.

Nica’s 36-second submission of Samba Coulibaly at Bellator 176 is the second fastest submission in Bellator lightweight history behind Zach Freeman’s 24-second win at Bellator 180.

For more on Bellator 190, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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Can Alessio Sakara bring home a title in front of his home Italy fans at Bellator 190?

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

Bellator returns to Italy this week, and the middleweight title will be on the line.

In the Bellator 190 main event, champion [Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) faces Italy’s own Alessio Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA). Sakara will be hoping to add a Bellator title to his resume in front of his home fans.

Bellator 190 takes place Saturday at Nelson Mandela Forum with a main card that airs at 8 p.m. ET on Spike via tape-delay.

Carvalho brings an impressive 14-fight winning streak to the cage, standing undefeated since dropping his pro debut in 2011. Included in that 14-fight run are 11 knockout wins. The Brazilian scored the Bellator middleweight crown with an October 2015 TKO of Brandon Halsey and has since defended it twice with a pair of wins over Dutch knockout artist Melvin Manhoef.

Sakara is best known for his 15 UFC appearances that spanned from 2005 to 2013. While his octagon run ended with four consecutive losses, “Legionarius” has experienced a rejuvenation in his post-UFC career, currently boasting a three-fight winning streak that has seen Sakara earn all three via knockout.

Ahead of the title fight, Bellator analyst Jimmy Smith takes a look at the title fight in the latest edition of “What to Watch.” Check out the video above

For more on Bellator 190, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Gegard Mousasi's Bellator plan: Shlemenko, title, MacDonald, light heavyweight – then retire?

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Gegard Mousasi sees endless possibilities for his Bellator career, but he knows it all starts with getting an impressive victory in his promotional debut next week at Bellator 185.

Mousasi (42-6-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) signed with Bellator in July after a four-year run in the UFC. He said he’s excited about having more “freedom” with the rival organization, and it all starts with a middleweight main event against ex-champ Alexander Shlemenko (56-9 MMA, 12-3 BMMA) at Bellator 185, which takes place Oct. 20 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

If he emerges victorious, Mousasi said he’s been promised the next title shot – against the winner of December’s Bellator 190 headliner between current 185-pound champ Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) and No. 1 contender Alessio Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA). Mousasi’s primary goal is to add the Bellator title to a mantel that currently includes Strikeforce and DREAM gold, but he also believes that could be just the beginning.

Mousasi, No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, wants big-name fights, and he’s willing to welcome the likes of Rory MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) into his weight class or even make a return to light heavyweight to get them.

“For me there are a lot of options,” Mousasi told MMAjunkie. “I have to beat Shlemenko first, then the title fight, then maybe a matchup against Rory MacDonald, and then maybe light heavyweight. In light heavyweight, you have ‘King Mo’ (Lawal); you have Ryan Bader, Phil Davis, Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva, ‘Rampage’ Jackson – all big names. Plenty of names I can fight and make exciting fights.”

At 32 Mousasi said he’s not yet thinking about retirement, but with a six-fight, 28-month contract with Bellator, he knows he could be one of the last contracts – if not the not last – of his career. Mousasi is currently on a five-fight winning streak, though, and said until he sees declining results, there’s no reason to consider walking away.

“As a fighter I feel like I’m not near the end of my career because I’m still winning,” Mousasi said. “But after six fights, I will probably be around 34 or 35. I think that’s a good age to retire, but I’m not thinking about that too much. I want to see what the results of the fights are going to be. If I keep losing, then of course it doesn’t make sense to continue. If I keep winning, I will keep continuing for maybe another three fights and then see again after that.”

Although Mousasi has great aspirations for what can be done over his six-fight Bellator deal, he said he’s not overlooking the task at hand. Shlemenko is one of the very few relevant opponents Mousasi can face in MMA who actually has more fights than him (65 to 50), and for that reason alone, he can’t be underestimated.

Some other UFC crossovers have struggled with the transition to Bellator, and Mousasi said he feels some responsibility to not only beat Shlemenko, but do so impressively.

“I feel like I should bee able to finish him in two rounds,” Mousasi said. “I’m too fast. Physically I’m bigger and stronger. I have the reach. I have the advantage in the stand-up and on the ground and in wrestling. Everything is to my advantage. The only thing I have to worry about is spinning back kicks, elbows and stuff like that. He’s tough and comes to fight, but I feel like he’s too aggressive. He makes a lot of mistakes. He comes to fight, and that’s why he makes a lot of mistakes, because he wants to brawl. I will land my shots.”

For more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator champ Rafael Carvalho meets Alessio Sakara in Italy

A long-rumored middleweight title fight is official for Bellator’s return to Italy.

Bellator officials recently announced that 185-pound title holder Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) faces Italy’s own Alessio Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) in the main event of Bellator 190 on Dec. 9 at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence.

Carvalho brings an impressive 14-fight winning streak to the cage, standing undefeated since dropping his pro debut in 2011. Included in that 14-fight run are 11 knockout wins. The Brazilian scored the Bellator middleweight crown with an October 2015 TKO of Brandon Halsey and has since defended it twice with a pair of wins over Dutch knockout artist Melvin Manhoef.

Meanwhile, Sakara is best known for his 15 UFC appearances that spanned from 2005 to 2013. While his octagon run ended with four consecutive losses, “Legionarius” has experienced a rejuvenation in his post-UFC career, currently boasting a three-fight winning streak that has seen Sakara earn all three via knockout.

For more on Bellator 190, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie