Rafael Carvalho Set to Defend Middleweight Title Against Melvin Manhoef on April 8

February 27, 2017

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2017) – A middleweight championship fight pitting Rafael Carvalho (13-1) against Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC) will serve as the main event of Bellator 176, which takes place inside Pala Alpitour in Torino, Italy on Saturday, April 8.

In addition, Bellator Kickboxing 5 will immediately follow the mixed martial arts action with some highly-anticipated matchups of its own. Bellator's Women's Flyweight World Champion Denise Kielholtz(46-3) is set to defend her belt for the first time against ISKA and WKU World Champion Martine Michieletto (34-12-5). In lightweight action, "The Doctor" Giorgio Petrosyan(83-2-2, 1NC) will prepare for Romanian veteran Amansio Paraschiv (23-5-1).

Bellator MMA's return to Torino features a clash of undefeated lightweights Carrington "Jetsetter" Banks(6-0) and Mihail Nica (5-0), as well as a lightweight battle pitting Djamil Chan(12-3) against Valeriu Mircea (13-4). Additional bouts will be announced shortly.

Bellator 176: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2and Bellator Kickboxing 5 will be aired on SPIKE in America and further broadcast details will be announced shortly.Tickets for the event are available now at www.oktagon.it and include access to an Oktagon Kickboxing event in addition to both Bellator events.

The Brazilian powerhouse Carvalho will enter the cage for the fifth time under the direction of Bellator MMA; a promotion with which he has collected four victories under, including a pair of impressive knockouts. Over his six-year professional career, the 30-year-old Carvalho has collected 10 knockout wins, including five of the first-round variety. The Bellator 185-pound world champion currently has his eyes set on defending his belt, all the while protecting an extraordinary 13-fight winning streak dating back to 2012. Hailing from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Carvalho will prepare to take on Manhoef for an enticing rematch on Saturday, April 8.

Fighting out of Amsterdam, Netherlands, the former Strikeforce competitor Melvin Manhoef will be making his sixth appearance under the Bellator MMA banner and first since his controversial split decision loss to Carvalho during the main event of Bellator 155. "No Mercy" has collected victories in three of his past five bouts, all of which have come by way of first round knockout, including a memorable finish over Hisaki Kato. With 28 of his 30 career victories coming by way of knockout, as well as nine additional knockouts in the kickboxing ring, the 40-year-old Manhoef is as dynamic and fearless as they come in Bellator's middleweight division. The 22-year veteran will have an opportunity to redeem himself against Carvalho, as the two prepare for battle in the main event of Bellator MMA's return to Pala Alpitour in Torino, Italy.

Updated Bellator 176: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2 Main Card:
Middleweight World Title Bout: Rafael Carvalho (13-1) vs. Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Carrington Banks (6-0) vs. Mihail Nica (5-0)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Djamil Chan (12-3) vs. Valeriu Mircea (13-4)

Updated Bellator Kickboxing 5 Main Card:
Flyweight World Title Bout: Denise Kielholtz (46-3) vs. Martine Michieletto (34-12-5)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Giorgio Petrosyan (83-2-2, 1NC) vs. Amansio Paraschiv (23-5-1)

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 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 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 Hollywood, Calif. 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.

About Spike:
Spike is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike's Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike's press site at http://www.spike.com/press. Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

About Oktagon:
Oktagon has been a mainstay in combat sports for over 20 years now, after officially being founded by Carlo Di Blasi in 1996. At its beginning the show was dedicated to free fight, the name that was given initially to MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Other disciplines such as Kickboxing, Muay Thai and Savate were gradually added. From the early 2000's onwards. During the last years Oktagon has reached a huge popularity, both in Italy and abroad, creating many superstars in the process. Under the watchful eye of Di Blasi, the promotion has put on some memorable matchups throughout the years with top fighters including Bellator welterweight Paul Daley as well as The Petrosyan brothers (Giorgio and Armen), Robin Van Roosmalen, Valentijn Overeem, Rico Verhoeven and Artem Levin.

Bellator 176

Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2

Bellator MMA Main Event Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2

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