Bellator 189 post-event facts: David Rickels trails only 'Pitbull' on all-time wins list

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Filed under: Bellator, News

Bellator 189 wasn’t the most memorable night for the promotion. All four main-card fights went the distance at Friday’s event, which took place at WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla., and aired on Spike.

The card concluded with women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd (11-2 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) making her first successful title defense when she picked up a narrow, and somewhat controversial, split-decision victory over Arlene Blencowe (10-7 MMA, 3-3 BMMA).

Budd’s title fight concluded the first of three Bellator events in the final month of the year. For more on the numbers behind the show, check out 20 post-event facts about Bellator 189.

* * * *

General

Betting favorites went 2-1 on the main card. One fight had even odds.

Betting favorites improved to to 15-4 (with one even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the four-bout main card was 1:10:00.

* * * *

Main card

Julia Budd

Budd extended her winning streak to nine fights. She hasn’t suffered a defeat since November 2011.

Budd’s five-fight Bellator winning streak in women’s featherweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Budd’s five victories in Bellator women’s featherweight competition are most in divisional history.

Budd has earned four of her five Bellator victories by decision.

Blencowe has suffered two of her three Bellator losses by decision. Both of those came against Budd.

Rafael Lovato

Rafael Lovato (7-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) earned the first decision victory of his career. His previous six wins came by stoppage.

Chris Honeycutt (10-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) fell to 2-1 since he moved up to the Bellator middleweight division in June 2016.

Honeycutt suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Chidi Njokuani (18-5 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) was successful in his Bellator middleweight debut.

Hisaki Kato (8-3 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) suffered the first decision loss of his career.

David Rickels

David Rickels’ (19-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) 13 victories in Bellator competition are tied with Michael Chandler and Joe Warren for second most in company history behind Patricio Freire (14).

Adam Piccolotti (9-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) has suffered back-to-back losses after starting his career on a nine-fight winning streak.

Piccolotti suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Preliminary card

Sam Sicilia

Sam Sicilia (16-8 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) was successful in his Bellator debut following a 12-fight UFC stint.

Sicilia snapped his three-fight losing skid for his first victory since July 2015.

Marcos Galvao (18-9-1 MMA, 8-6 BMMA) fell to 0-2 since he moved up to the Bellator featherweight division in March 2017.

Galvao has suffered five of his six Bellator losses by decision.

Mandel Nallo’s (6-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) 18-second knockout victory marked the fastest stoppage in Bellator lightweight history.

For complete coverage of Bellator 189, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 189 results: Julia Budd defends title in underwhelming split decision

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Julia Budd defended the women’s featherweight title against Arlene Blencowe in tonight’s Bellator 189 main event, but it was a fight many may hope to forget.

The 145-pound title fight, which headlined the card at WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla., had essentially no memorable moments over the course of five rounds. In the end, Budd (11-2 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) picked up a somewhat debatable split decision to defend against Blencowe (10-7 MMA, 3-3 BMMA) in a rematch of an October 2016 bout, which Budd won by majority decision.

The first and second rounds were classic Budd. She used her size and strength to pressure Blencowe against the cage and work short strikes. The Canadian was never able to secure a takedown or inflict serious damage, but she did do enough to neutralize her opponent.

Blencowe made some adjustments going into the third frame, though. She kept better spacing with her striking and forced Budd to her back foot during the stand-up exchanges. More importantly, she avoided the clinch work and grappling of Budd.

As the fight went into the championship rounds, the corners of both fighters were encouraging their athletes to pick up the pace. The fight was essentially waiting for someone to do something big, but it was another slow-paced round in the fourth with little meaningful exchanges.

Going into the fifth and final round, both the corners as well as commentators Mauro Ranallo and Jimmy Smith were pleading for Budd and Blencowe to do something – anything. Sadly, however, they didn’t get their wish.

Blencowe controlled the center of the cage, and despite barely throwing strikes, she was able to keep a higher pace than Budd, who did essentially nothing.

Despite that, two of three judges saw the fight in Budd’s favor. Each judge saw it different, but Budd got the split decision by scores of 46-49, 48-47 and 49-46.

“I wanted to just get in there but she was staying back from my strikes so it was hard to land with my hands,” Budd said in her post-fight interview. “I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I didn’t expect an easy fight. But I knew I won.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 189, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Ahead of Bellator 189 title rematch, watch champ Julia Budd's first win over Arlene Blencowe

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

(This story was originally published on Nov. 26, 2017.)

The women’s featherweight title is on the line in Bellator 189’s main event tonight in Oklahoma, and it’s a rematch.

Champion Julia Budd (10-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) puts her belt up against Arlene Blencowe (10-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) in the headliner at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Budd won Bellator’s inaugural women’s featherweight title earlier this year when she stopped former Strikeforce champ Marloes Coenen with a fourth-round TKO at Bellator 174, which also took place in Thackerville.

Julia Budd

To get to that title shot, Canadian vet Budd won her first three Bellator fights after a 4-0 run with Invicta FC. And the third of those wins came at Bellator 162 nearly a year ago – a unanimous-decision win over Blencowe, who now challenges for her title.

Blencowe has gone 3-0 since that loss. The Australian picked up a pair of knockout wins in her home country and then took a split call from Sinead Kavanagh at Bellator 182 in August.

Ahead of the title fight rematch, check out their first meeting at Bellator 162 to get primed for the run-back. The full fight is available in the video above.

And for more on Bellator 189, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 189 live video stream and official results (7 p.m. ET)

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Bellator 189 takes place today, and you can join us for a live video stream and official results beginning at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT).

Bellator 189 takes place at WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla., and women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd (10-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) meets challenger Arlene Blencowe (10-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) in the headliner.

U.S. viewers can watch the prelims above beginning at 7 p.m. ET before the main card shifts to Spike at 9 p.m. ET. Viewers outside of the U.S. can watch the entire card above.

Official Bellator 189 results include:

MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Julia Budd vs. Arlene Blencowe
  • Chris Honeycutt vs. Rafael Lovato
  • Hisaki Kato vs. Chidi Njokuani
  • Adam Piccolotti vs. David Rickels

PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 7 p.m. ET)

  • Ky Bennett vs. Stephanie Geltmacher
  • Kemmyelle Haley vs. Brian Grinnell
  • Thomas Lopez vs. Cris Williams
  • Marcos Galvao vs. Sam Sicilia
  • Na Ling vs. Juliana Velasquez
  • Jordan Howard vs. Brandon Phillips
  • Mandel Nallo vs. Alec Williams
  • Gaston Bolanos vs. Rick Gutierrez
  • Franklin Patterson vs. Andrew Parker

For more on Bellator 189, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 189 weigh-ins: Budd-Blecowe title fight set, but Dufresne again misses weight

The headlining title fight is set, but Friday’s Bellator 189 card has lost a fight.

Women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd (10-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) and challenger Arlene Blencowe (10-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) both successfully made weight for the main event.

Budd weighed 143.9 pounds, and Blencowe was 144.6.

Bellator 189 takes place at WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla., and airs on Spike following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.

Although the headliners were on the mark, a preliminary-card bout between Alexis Dufresne (6-3 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) and Amber Leibrock (2-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) was scrapped. Dufresne missed weight for the featherweight bout, and officials canceled the bout.

It’s Dufresne’s fifth straight time missing weight. Her previous failure cost her a shot at the Bellator belt.

The full Bellator 189 weigh-in results included:

MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Julia Budd (143.9) vs. Arlene Blencowe (144.6) – for women’s featherweight title
  • Chris Honeycutt (185.4) vs. Rafael Lovato (185.7)
  • Hisaki Kato (185.2) vs. Chidi Njokuani (185.3)
  • Adam Piccolotti (160.6) vs. David Rickels (160.7) – 160-pound catchweight

PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 7 p.m. ET)

  • Ky Bennett (130.9) vs. Stephanie Geltmacher (130.9) – 130-pound catchweight
  • Kemmyelle Haley (169.5) vs. Brian Grinnell (169.9)
  • Thomas Lopez (145.7) vs. Cris Williams (145.6)
  • Marcos Galvao (145.8) vs. Sam Sicilia (146)
  • Na Ling (125) vs. Juliana Velasquez (126)
  • Jordan Howard (134.7) vs. Brandon Phillips (135)
  • Mandel Nallo (155.4) vs. Alec Williams (155.4)
  • Gaston Bolanos (151) vs. Rick Gutierrez (148.4) – 150-pound catchweight
  • Franklin Patterson (185.4) vs. Andrew Parker (184.7)

For more on Bellator 189, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

5 reasons to watch Bellator 189, including Julia Budd's high-stakes title rematch

Filed under: Bellator, News

Bellator returns to the U.S. on Friday. After presenting events in Dublin, Ireland and Tel Aviv in November, the promotion heads to the familiar confines of WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla., for Bellator 189.

In the main event, women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd looks to defend her title for the first time when she meets Arlene Blencowe, an opponent the champion defeated by majority decision in 2016.

In the co-headliner, Chris Honeycutt and Rafael Lovato look to find a place among the top middleweights on the Bellator roster.

Bellator 189 airs on Spike following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.

Here are five reasons to watch the event.

1. High-stakes rematch

Julia Budd

The first time Budd and Blencowe faced each other, the bout ended in a majority decision in Budd’s favor. Budd’s only contest since that victory was her featherweight title-winning TKO of Marloes Coenen.

Blencowe (10-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) has fought three times since she faced Budd (10-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) in October 2016, and she won each of those bouts. The Australian’s most recent victory was a split-decision win over Sinead Kavanagh in August.

Budd’s strength and her ability to take advantage of openings in Blencowe’s striking game made the difference in the first meeting between these two. If Blencowe is more active in her striking and able to maintain distance, this could be her fight to lose. That’s easier said than done. The only two women to defeat Budd during her 12-fight career are former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and current UFC champ Amanda Nunes.

2. Moving on up

Chris Honeycutt

Once you drill down past Rafael Carvalho, Gegard Mousasi, John Salter and Alexander Shlemenko, you run into Honeycutt and Lovato in the middleweight pecking order. A step into the top tier of the division is on the line when the two meet at Bellator 189.

Since moving up from welterweight, Honeycutt (10-1 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) is unbeaten at 185 pounds. He extended his unbeaten streak to three straight after he earned a TKO win over Kevin Casey in August. Lovato (6-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), the former Legacy FC middleweight champion, has not lost in his MMA career. His most recent win was a first-round submission victory over Mike Rhodes in July.

Lovato is well known for his Brazilian jiu-jitsu accomplishments, but he has a developing striking game and has not been timid about using those newfound skills. Honeycutt has a wrestling background, which he uses to get the fight to the mat. Once on the ground, Honeycutt unloads heavy strikes. However, it will be a surprise if he tangles with Lovato on the ground.

The winner of this contest could find himself booked against the surging Salter, who was just victorious at Bellator 188.

3. Looking to make the most of his move

Chidi Njokuani

Chidi Njokuani was on a roll. Unbeaten in nine consecutive fights with four of those coming under the Bellator banner, he looked like a rising star heading into his August bout against former welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov. The one thing that dimmed that star was the Texas-born fighters inability to make weight on a consistent basis. Njokuani missed weight in two of his three most recent fights; the other was contested at a catchweight of 179 pounds. After his first-round TKO loss to Koreshkov, Njokuani (17-5 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) decided to give middleweight a shot. He makes his 185-pound debut against Hisaki Kato (8-2 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) at Bellator 189.

Njokuani’s move to middleweight does not come at an ideal time. The top of the division is crowded with the emergence of Salter as a title contender and the signing of Mousasi. With that, the pressure is on the 28-year-old to come out of the gate hot. The 35-year-old Kato, who is on a three-fight winning streak, hopes to spoil Njokuani’s move. Kato’s most recent win was a January decision victory over Ralek Gracie.

4. Bounce back

Adam Piccolotti

Adam Piccolotti suffered the first defeat of his career in his most recent bout. The loss was a costly one. The man who forced him to tap in the first-round, Goiti Yamauchi, was booked to face former lightweight champion Michael Chandler after his victory. Meanwhile, Piccolotti looks to get back in the win column against David Rickels in a 160-pound catchweight bout in Thackerville.

This is a good test for Piccolotti (9-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA). Rickels (18-4 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) is a well-rounded fighter who should test all facets of his opponent’s game. The less experienced Piccolotti is known mostly as a top position ground fighter, but he has made strides in his striking game. If he can get by Rickels, Piccolotti should find himself right back in the thick of things in the lightweight division.

Rickels enters this fight on the strength of a third-round TKO win over Aaron Derrow at Bellator 171.

5. A fine how you do

Sam Sicilia

After three consecutive losses, Sam Sicilia saw his five-year run with the UFC end in February. He then signed with Bellator. If Sicilia thought he’d waltz into his new promotion without a test, he couldn’t have been more wrong. In his first fight with Bellator, Sicilia is matched up against former bantamweight champion Marcos Galvao.

This featherweight fight has the potential to be an entertaining one if it remains on the feet. Both of these combatants like to throw their punches with maximum force. If the bout does go to the ground, Galvao (18-7-1 MMA, 8-4 BMMA) will have an advantage, but getting Sicilia (15-8 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) to the mat could prove tricky as he defended 70 percent of his opponent’s takedown attempts while with the UFC.

Expect both men to be very motivated in this matchup. Sicilia enters this contest on the heels of a frustrating loss to Gavin Tucker in which he landed a total of 10 strikes. Galvao also lost his most recent outing when he dropped a decision to Emmanuel Sanchez.

For more on Bellator 189, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 189 pre-event facts: David Rickels sets new record for most Bellator fights

Bellator contributes to a busy weekend of MMA with Bellator 189, which takes place Friday at WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla., and airs on Spike following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.

A women’s featherweight championship fight headlines the card. Reigning titleholder Julia Budd (10-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) attempts to make her first title defense when she rematches Arlene Blencowe (10-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) in a bout from Bellator 162 in October 2016, which Budd won by majority decision.

For more on the numbers behind Friday’s Bellator 189 fight card, check out 25 pre-event facts.

* * * *

Main event

Julia Budd

Budd competes in her fifth Bellator women’s featherweight bout, the second most appearances in divisional history behind Blencowe (five).

Budd enters the event on an eight-fight winning streak. She hasn’t suffered a defeat since November 2011.

Budd’s four-fight Bellator winning streak in women’s featherweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Budd’s four victories in Bellator women’s featherweight competition are most in divisional history.

Julia Budd vs. Arlene Blencowe

Budd’s only career losses came against current UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and ex-titleholder Ronda Rousey.

Blencowe is 3-0 since she suffered a majority decision loss to Budd at Bellator 162 in October 2016.

Blencowe competes in her sixth Bellator women’s featherweight bout, the most appearances in divisional history.

Blencowe’s two victories in Bellator women’s featherweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Budd (four).

Remaining main card

Chris Honeycutt

Chris Honeycutt (10-1 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) is 2-0 since he moved up to the Bellator middleweight division in June 2016.

Rafael Lovato (6-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) has earned all of his career victories by stoppage.

Lovato’s 13-second knockout of Charles Hackmann at Bellator 174 stands as the sixth fastest knockout in company history.

Chidi Njokuani (17-5 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) moves up to the middleweight division for the first time in his career.

Njokuani has earned 10 of his 11 career stoppage victories by knockout.

Njokuani has suffered all five of his career losses by stoppage.

Hisaki Kato (8-2 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) has earned seven of his eight career victories by stoppage.

David Rickels

David Rickels (18-4 MMA, 12-4 BMMA), 28, is the youngest of the 10 scheduled main card fighters.

Rickels competes in his 19th Bellator bout, the most appearances in company history (two have appearances resulted in no contests).

Rickels’ 12 victories in Bellator competition are tied for fourth most in company history behind Patricio Freire (14), Michael Chandler (13) and Joe Warren (13).

Rickels is 3-2 (with two no-contests) in his past seven Bellator appearances.

Marcos Galvao (18-7-1 MMA, 8-4 BMMA), 35, is the oldest of the 10 scheduled main card fighters.

Marcos Galvao

Galvao is one of six fighters in history to win the Bellator bantamweight championship.

Galvao was unsuccessful in his Bellator featherweight debut when he lost to Emmanuel Sanchez at Bellator 175 in March.

Galvao has earned 13 of his 18 career victories by decision.

Sam Sicilia (15-8 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) makes his Bellator debut following a 12-fight UFC stint where he went 5-7.

Sicilia enters the event on a three-fight losing skid. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2015.

For more on Bellator 189, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Ahead of their Bellator 189 title rematch, watch champ Julia Budd's first win over Arlene Blencowe

The women’s featherweight title is on the line in the Bellator 189 main event Friday night in Oklahoma, and it’s a rematch.

Champion Julia Budd (10-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) puts her belt up against Arlene Blencowe (10-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) in the headliner at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card will air on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Budd won Bellator’s inaugural women’s featherweight title earlier this year when she stopped former Strikeforce champ Marloes Coenen with a fourth-round TKO at Bellator 174, which also took place in Thackerville.

Julia Budd

To get to that title shot, Budd, from Canada, won her first three Bellator fights after a 4-0 run for Invicta FC. And the third of those wins came at Bellator 162 nearly a year ago – a unanimous decision win over Blencowe, who now will challenge for her title.

Blencowe, from Australia, has gone 3-0 since that loss. She picked up a pair of knockout wins in her native Australia, then took a split call from Sinead Kavanagh at Bellator 182 in August.

Ahead of the title fight rematch, check out their first meeting at Bellator 162 to get primed for the run-back. The full fight is available in the video above.

And for more on Bellator 189, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Jimmy Smith on what makes Arlene Blencowe dangerous in Bellator 189 rematch with champ Julia Budd

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Bellator is back Stateside next week, and the women’s featherweight title will be on the line.

In the Bellator 189 main event, champion Julia Budd (10-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) will put her belt up in a rematch with Arlene Blencowe (10-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA). The card also includes a middleweight bout between Chris Honeycutt (10-1 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) and Rafael Lovato Jr. (6-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA).

Bellator 189 takes place Dec. 1 at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card will air on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Budd won Bellator’s inaugural women’s featherweight title earlier this year when she stopped former Strikeforce champ Marloes Coenen with a fourth-round TKO at Bellator 174, which also took place in Thackerville.

Julia Budd vs. Arlene Blencowe

To get to that title shot, Budd, from Canada, won her first three Bellator fights after a 4-0 run for Invicta FC. And the third of those wins came at Bellator 162 nearly a year ago – a unanimous decision win over Blencowe, who now will challenge for her title.

Blencowe, from Australia, has gone 3-0 since that loss. She picked up a pair of knockout wins in her native Australia, then took a split call from Sinead Kavanagh at Bellator 182 in August.

Ahead of the title fight, Bellator analyst Jimmy Smith takes a look at the rematch and just why Blencowe is dangerous in the latest edition of “What to Watch.”

For more on Bellator 189, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Featherweight champ Julia Budd headlines Bellator 189 in rematch with Arlene Blencowe

Julia Budd will put her featherweight title on the line in December when she headlines Bellator 189 in a rematch.

Budd (10-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) will be challenged by Arlene Blencowe (10-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) in the main event, Bellator officials today announced. In addition, the co-main event is set with a middleweight bout between Chris Honeycutt (10-1 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) and Rafael Lovato Jr. (6-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA).

Bellator 189 takes place Dec. 1 at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card will air on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Budd won Bellator’s inaugural women’s featherweight title earlier this year when she stopped former Strikeforce champ Marloes Coenen with a fourth-round TKO at Bellator 174, which also took place in Thackerville.

Julia Budd vs. Arlene Blencowe

To get to that title shot, Budd, from Canada, won her first three Bellator fights after a 4-0 run for Invicta FC. And the third of those wins came at Bellator 162 nearly a year ago – a unanimous decision win over Blencowe, who now will challenge for her title.

Blencowe, from Australia, has gone 3-0 since that loss. She picked up a pair of knockout wins in her native Australia, then took a split call from Sinead Kavanagh at Bellator 182 in August.

Honeycutt has won four straight fights. He has decisions over Matt Secor, Mikkel Parlo and Ben Reiter. But at Bellator 182, he picked up his first stoppage win in two and half years when he took out Kevin Casey with a second-round TKO. His four-fight winning streak comes on the heels of a pair of fights with Paul Bradley. The first of those ended in a no-contest from an accidental headbutt, and Bradley won the rematch with a 40-second knockout – Honeycutt’s lone pro loss.

Lovato won Legacy FC’s middleweight title in just his third pro fight in 2016. After defending it later that year with a submission of Cortez Coleman, he moved to Bellator – where he has been impressive in a hurry. He stopped Charles Hackman in just 13 seconds with a TKO at Bellator 174. And in July, he submitted Mike Rhodes in the first round.

For more on Bellator 189, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie