29 Jan Bellator announces preliminary card for “Manhoef vs. Shlemenko”
With a thrilling middleweight matchup between knockout artist Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef (29-12-1) and former Bellator MMA champ Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (50-9) in the headlining role, “Bellator: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko” now features a full lineup of 12 contests, loaded with some of California’s top fighting talent.
Bellator officials today announced the addition of eight preliminary contests, which join previously announced matchups of Manhoef vs. Shlemenko, Pat Curran (20-6) vs. Daniel Weichel (34-8), Julia Budd (6-2) vs. Talita Nogueira (6-0) and Chris Honeycutt (5-0) vs. Clayton MacFarlane (4-0).
The newly announced bouts include featherweights Art “King Arthur” Arciniega (14-4) vs. Charley Huston (6-2), undefeated middleweights Blake Watkins (4-0) vs. George Zuniga (3-0), flyweightsPaul Ruiz (5-2) vs. Nicolas Sperling (3-2), welterweights ”Terrible” Tom Cook (1-1) vs. Mason “The Mangler” Fowler (1-0), lightweights Nick Bustamante (2-0) vs. Luis Jauregui (2-1), light heavyweights John Paul Elias (2-0) vs. Cody Sons (0-1), lightweights Jonathan “J.T.” Contrestano(4-0) vs. Ryan Tobar (3-1) and bantamweights Ray Cervera (8-2) vs. Adam Piccolotti (4-0).
”Bellator: Manhoef vs. Shlemenko” which takes place Feb. 13 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. Airs live and free on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET. Tickets for the event, which start at just $28, are currently on sale at Bellator.com and Ticketmaster.com.
Arciniega vs. Huston, Watkins vs. Zuniga, Sperling vs. Ruiz and Cook vs. Fowler all stream live on Spike.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT local time) and precede the evening’s four-fight Spike TV-televised main card.
Meanwhile, Bustamante vs. Jauregui, Elias vs. Sons, Contrestano vs. Tobar and Cevera vs. Picolotti stream live on Spike.com following the conclusion of the televised card.
Art “King Arthur” Arciniega, of Dos Palos, Calif., brings a seven-fight winning streak to the cage, having last tasted defeat in 2009. He now face Charley Huston, of Orangeville, Calif., who has earned five of his six career wins by first-round stoppage.
Blake Watkins, of Fresno, Calif., has opened his career in spectacular fashion, owning all four of his career wins by first-round stoppage, including three of just 67 seconds or less. He now meets fellow undefeated fighter George Zuniga, who is also no stranger to quick wins, having earned a 34-second win this past September in his Bellator MMA debut.
Paul Ruiz, of Firebaugh, Calif., is a two-time Bellator MMA veteran, who made his professional debut fighting for the promotion in 2011. He now meets Nicolas Sperling, who opened his professional run with consecutive losses but has since bounced back to earn three-straight first-round stoppage wins.
”Terrible” Tom Cook, of Placerville, Calif., has earned mixed results in his first two professional bouts, but both ended in the opening frame. He now meets Mason Fowler, of Fresno, Calif., who in October needed just 28 seconds to pick up a submission win in his professional debut.
Nick Bustamante, of Fresno, Calif., makes his Bellator MMA debut on the strength of two stoppage wins to start his career. He now challenges Luis Jauregui, of Madera, Calif., who fell short in his 2010 professional debut but then took nearly four years off before returning with consecutive stoppage wins.
John Paul Elias, of Madera, Calif., owns both of his his wins by stoppage, including one knockout and one submission. He now faces Cody Sons, of Bakersfield, Calif., who suffered a disappointing TKO loss in his professional debut but now looks to rebound for his first career win.
Jonathan “J.T.” Contrestano, of Visalia, Calif., returns to action following an 18-month layoff to meet fellow prospect Ryan Tobar, of Oakdale, Calif., who open his career with three-straight first-round victories but suffered a decision loss in October and now looks to rebound from the first setback of his career.
Ray Cervera, of Bakersfield, Calif., brings a three-fight winning streak to the cage and has earned seven of his eight career wins by stoppage. He’s also never been stopped, as both of his professional defeats have come by decision. He now faces undefeated prospect Adam Piccolotti, of Fresno, Calif., who began his professional career in 2013 and has since earned four-straight wins, including two knockouts and one submission.
Bellator 133: Friday, Feb. 13, Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif.
Main Card on Spike TV (9 p.m. ET)
Bellator Middleweight Main Event: Melvin Manhoef (29-12-1) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (50-9)
Bellator Featherweight Feature Fight: Pat Curran (20-6) vs. Daniel Weichel (34-8)
Bellator Women’s Featherweight Feature Fight: Julia Budd (6-2) vs. Talita Nogueira (6-0)
Bellator Welterweight Feature Fight: Chris Honeycutt (5-0) vs. Clayton MacFarlane (4-0)
Preliminary card on Spike.com (8 p.m. ET)
Bellator Featherweight Prelim Fight: Art Arciniega (14-4) vs. Charley Huston (6-2)
Bellator Middleweight Prelim Fight: Blake Watkins (4-0) vs. George Zuniga (3-0)
Bellator Flyweight Prelim Fight: Paul Ruiz (5-2) vs. Nicolas Sperling (3-2)
Bellator Welterweight Prelim Fight: Tom Cook (1-1) vs. Mason Fowler (1-0)
Preliminary card on Spike.com (Following Manhoef vs. Shlemenko)
Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Nick Bustamante (2-0) vs. Luis Jauregui (2-1)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Prelim Fight: John Paul Elias (2-0) vs. Cody Sons (0-1)
Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Jonathan Contrestano (4-0) vs. Ryan Tobar (3-1)
Bellator Bantamweight Prelim Fight: Ray Cervera (8-2) vs. Adam Piccolotti (4-0)
Image provided by Bellator MMA