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

Rafael Lovato Jr. meets Mike Rhodes at Bellator 181 in second promotional fight

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

For more on Bellator 181, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie