Ballator’s brand of MMA is headed back to Florence, Italy as the company’s middleweight king, Rafael Carvalho, looks to defend his crown against Italy’s own Alessio Sakara in the Bellator 190 main event. The co-main event on the evening will witness 11-fight Bellator veteran Brandon Girtz try and make his way back to the win column as he faces promotional newcomer Luka Jelcic. Also on the card will be Bellator flyweight Lena Ovchynnikova, who hopes to make it three straight wins if she can get past promotional debutant Mary Rouse Mejia. Bellator 190 can be seen this Saturday night, on Spike TV at 9:00 P.M. ET (Tape Delay).
Main Card: Spike TV
Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA; 5-0 Bellator) vs. Alessio Carvalho (19-11 MMA; 2-0 Bellator): Middleweight Title
Following a sleep-inducing split decision win over Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 155, Rafael Carvalho redeemed himself in their Bellator 176 rematch with a scintillating head kick KO in the 4th round. The kicks of Carvalho are to be revered as he has proven that he can devastate high, but let’s not forget that he won the 185-pound title with a lethal liver kick that ended the night for Brandon Halsey at Bellator 144. Will another Carvalho leg strike lead to a lights out moment in a Bellator main event?
Following a lengthy UFC career dating back to 2005, Alessio Sakara has found new life with the Bellator promotion, racking up back-to-back knockouts to earn the Italian fighter a shot at the title on home soil. Sakara put away Brian Rogers with strikes at Bellator 152 in Torino, and then ran through Joey Beltran in just 1:20 at Bellator 168 in Florence. Will Sakara show up big time in front of his home crowd and capture himself a world title?
Brandon Girtz (14-7 MMA; 6-5 Bellator) vs. Luka Jelcic (10-2 MMA; Bellator Debut): Lightweight
Brandon Girtz is looking to gain some traction following a three-fight losing skid, with his most recent win dating back to November of 2015. In his last outing, Girtz was involved in an incredible Fight of the Year candidate at Bellator 181, in which he waged absolute war with Derek Campos, but lost due to a doctor stoppage before the 3rd round. What a blood bath that was! Click HERE to watch the epic war that was Brandon Girtz vs. Derek Campos 3. Girtz will be squaring off with the greenest opponent that he’s faced in a pretty long time, which could be exactly what the doctor ordered for Girtz to get back into the win column.
With a record of 10-2, Luka Jelcic will be making his promotional debut against an 11-fight Bellator vet in Girtz. Out of his 10 wins, Jelcic has earned nine of them by way of finish, stopping four opponents by KO and the other 5 by submission. Jelcic has finished four-straight opponents in the 1st round, and looks to carry that momentum with him as he makes a splash into a new promotion.
Mihail Nica (6-0 MMA; 1-0 Bellator) vs. Carlos Leal (10-3 MMA; Bellator Debut): Lightweight
The undefeated Mihail Nica looks to remain perfect as the Hungarian native is scheduled for his sophomore appearance with the Bellator promotion. Nica made the most of his company debut by strangling Samba Coulibaly with an anaconda choke at just 36 seconds into their Bellator 176 bout. Having finished all of his six opponents, three by sub and three by KO, Nica has yet to see a 3rd round in his professional career. The 23-year-old Carlos Leal is set to make his Bellator debut following four-straight victories on Brazil’s regional circuit. Leal finished off three of those four opponents before the 3rd round, and now looks to make it five-straight wins as he takes on his first pro fight outside of Brazil. Considering all of the finishes between these two athletes, there is a solid chance that this bout will not be going the distance.
Lena Ovchynnikova (12-4 MMA; 2-1 Bellator) vs. Mary Rouse Mejia (1-0 MMA; Bellator Debut): (W) Flyweight
Since dropping her promotional debut to Rebecca Ruth at Bellator 150, Lena Ovchynnikova has racked up back to back wins for the Viacom promotion. Ovchynnikova was last spotted in Budapest, Hungary as she earned a doctor stoppage TKO over Helen Harper at Bellator 177. Her opponent, Mary Rouse Mejia, is currently 1-0 in her professional career, so there are a plethora of unknowns surrounding her capabilities. The lack of info surrounding Mejia only plays into her favor, as Mejia has plenty of footage to study of her opponent, while Ovchynnikova will have to learn as she goes. Now that Bellator has a female flyweight champion in Ilima Macfarlane, the entire division has a bulls eye in which to aim.