Click above for “What to Watch: Gavao vs. Dantas”
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (February 22, 2015) – This Friday, Bellator MMA brings a world championship matchup between two highly skilled mixed martial arts practitioners when bantamweight champion Marcos “Loro” Galvao (17-6-1) defends his strap against former champion and former friend and training partner, Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas (17-4) at “Bellator 150: Galvao vs. Dantas 2.
The event emanates from the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas this Friday, February 26, and airs live on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream live on Bellator.com and The Bellator Mobile App. Tickets for “Bellator 150: Galvao vs. Dantas 2,” which start at just $27, are on sale now at KansasStarEventCenter.com or Ticketmaster.com, as well as the Kansas Star Arena box office.
In addition to the title fight, a heavyweight co-main event of Cheick Kongo (23-10-2) against Vinicius Queiroz (8-3) will anchor the number two spot. Also on the card, Kendall Grove (22-15) takes on Francisco “Kiko” France (13-3-1), hometown favorite David Rickels (16-4, 1 NC) will return to action against Bobby Cooper (12-5), plus the Bellator MMA debut of newly signed women’s flyweight Lena Ovchynnikova (10-3), who takes on Rebecca Ruth (5-1).
“Loro,” who has fought for world-renowned promotions the likes of World Extreme Cagefighting and Shooto since 2003, will be competing for the 11th time under the Bellator MMA banner. The 34-year-old is presently in the midst of a four-fight winning streak and has emerged victorious in seven of his last eight scraps. In his last outing, Galvao finished Joe Warren at “Bellator 135: Warren vs. Galvao” via submission to win his first-ever championship and fulfil a promise he made to his mother before her unfortunate passing.
Meanwhile, Dantas will be looking to duplicate the success he had against Galvao in their first meeting, which resulted in a second-round knockout at “Bellator 89.” Last May, the 27-year-old Nova Uniao product dispelled of Mike Richman via unanimous decision at “Bellator 137: Halsey vs. Grove.” The Bellator Season 5 Bantamweight Tournament winner is looking to become a two-time bantamweight champion come October 23.
Kongo will be making his eighth appearance under the Bellator MMA banner, looking to add to his impressive promotional mark of 5-2. The Parisian native has fought a who’s who in the mixed martial arts landscape, with notable wins against Mirko Cro Cop, Pat Barry, Matt Mitrione, and Alexander Volkov already on his record. In his last outing – which just so happened to be inside the Kansas Star Arena — Kongo impressively defeated Volkov via unanimous decision.
After nearly two years out of action, Queiroz returned to the Bellator MMA cage against Ewerton Teixeira at “Bellator 139: Kongo vs. Volkov,” defeating his fellow Brazilian opponent via second round arm-triangle choke. “Spartan” hopes to plant the seeds for a busy 2016 with the matchup against Kongo, where a win can undoubtedly place him in the midst of the heavyweight title picture.
Grove capped off 2015 with an emphatic knockout of Joey Beltran at “Bellator 143: Warren vs. Davis,” in September. The winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: 3,” has fought professionally since 2003 for promotions all around the world, notably ProElite and UFC. This will be “Da Spyder’s” sixth appearance under the Bellator MMA banner as he hopes to climb back towards a 185-pound title shot – he competed for the gold last year against Brandon Halsey.
A veteran of Strikeforce, “Kiko” France has strung together a five-fight winning streak as of late, most recently handing the formerly undefeated Ben Reiter the first loss of his young career at “Bellator 146: Kato vs. Manhoef.” It’s safe to classify the 33-year-old Arizona native as a “submission specialist,” with 12 of his 13 wins as a professional coming by way of making his opponent tap.
A Bellator MMA event in Mulvane, Kansas just wouldn’t be the same without “The Caveman,” who will return to action for the first time since competing against Michael Chandler this past November. Rickels always comes ready to put on a show, whether it’s on his way to the cage, or when he’s taking on a who’s who of Bellator MMA lightweight talent. The 27-year-old will be making his 16th appearance under the promotional banner.
The last time Bobby Cooper fought inside the Kansas Star Arena, he took home a closely contested split decision victory over “Bellator 147” co-headliner Pablo Villaseca. Now, “Super Duper” will look to move to 3-0 under the Bellator MMA banner when he faces Rickels in hostile territory. It’s worth noting that the Missouri native has only lost twice in his last eight MMA appearances.
Hailing from Ukraine, Ovchynnikova will enter the fray fresh off a new exclusive, multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA. “Hunter” has previously fought the likes of Joanne Calderwood and at only 28-years-old has already competed professionally since 2006. Now, Ovchynnikova looks to solidify herself as a top contender in the budding women’s flyweight division on February 26 against a tough foe in Ruth.
“Becky” Ruth was undefeated in 2015, winning all three of her matchups by technical knockout under the Shamrock Fighting Championships banner. The lone loss on the Missouri native’s record came against Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger, via controversial split decision.
Complete “Bellator 150: Galvao vs. Dantas 2” Fight Card:
Bellator MMA Bantamweight Title Main Event: Marcos Galvao (17-6-1) vs. Eduardo Dantas (17-4)
Bellator MMA Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Cheick Kongo (23-10-2) vs. Vinicius Queiroz (8-3)
Bellator MMA Lightweight Feature Bout: Dave Rickels (16-4, 1 NC) vs. Bobby Cooper (12-5)
Bellator MMA Middleweight Feature Bout: Kendall Grove (22-15) vs. Francisco France (13-3-1)
Bellator MMA Flyweight Feature Bout: Lena Ovchynnikova (10-3) vs. Rebecca Ruth (5-1)
Bellator MMA Heavyweight Feature Bout: David Hammons (1-1) vs. Kyle Noblitt (1-0)
Bellator MMA Middleweight Feature Bout: Brandon Farran (12-10) vs. Gregory Babene (16-11)
Bellator MMA Welterweight Feature Bout: Manny Meraz (7-1) vs. Andre Fialho (5-0)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Feature Bout: Gaston Reyno (5-0) vs. Chuka Willis (6-2)
Bellator MMA Middleweight Feature Bout: Chris Harris (4-0) vs. Julian Marquez (2-0)
Bellator MMA Lightweight Feature Bout: Marcio Navarro (14-11) vs. Henry Lindsay (4-5)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Feature Bout: Thai Clark (5-0) vs. Deron Carlis (4-1)
Bellator MMA Lightweight Feature Bout: Jason Witt (7-2) vs. Jonathan Gary (11-6)
About Bellator MMA
Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 400 million homes worldwide in over 120 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike, the MMA television leader. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world’s premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.
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About Kansas Star Arena
The Kansas Star Arena, a Boyd Gaming facility, is located just off Exit 33 on the Kansas Turnpike and is adjacent to the Kansas Star Casino. The 42,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Kansas Star Arena is south-central Kansas’ home for big-name national acts such as Journey, Pat Benatar, Championship Rodeo, mixed martial arts events and more. The Arena accommodates up to 6,500 guests for headliner events. In 2014, Midwest Gaming and Travel awarded the Kansas Star more than 25 honors in its annual Reader’s Choice Awards, including “Best Concert Venue” in the state of Kansas. For more information, visit kansasstarcasino.com. Connect with Kansas Star Arena at facebook.com/kansasstararena and www.kansasstarcasino.com/entertain/arena. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Boyd Gaming is a leading diversified owner and operator of 22 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey. Boyd Gaming and Kansas Star Casino press releases are available at boydgaming.mediaroom.com.