When Dionne Warwick asks like a nightingale, “Do you know the way to San Jose?,” Scott Coker, the President of Bellator MMA, has an answer that is music to the ears of Northern California’s MMA community: Bellator 183 on September 16, 2017 at the SAP Center.
Although no titles hang in the balance at Bellator 183, the shine of the star-studded card doesn’t lose any luster. In conjunction with Bellator 183’s mixing of the martial arts, the Viacom-owned promotion will also unfurl the seventh installment of Bellator Kickboxing, which features two championship slugfests.
Bellator 183’s Main Card
Main Event: Benson Henderson vs Patricky Freire in the lightweight division
Since leaving the UFC, big things were expected from ‘Smooth’ Benson Henderson (24-7); unfortunately, the former lightweight champion has hit a rough patch since contracting his services with Bellator. As Henderson continues to hunt his legacy, a win over Freire, in addition to a TKO stoppage of Patricio Freire at Bellator 160, will cement his place in the Bellator brothers’ family album as public enemy number one.
Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire (17-8) seeks revenge for his brother, but he’s also primed to bolster his reputation, in the wake of a KO victory over Josh Thomson—another UFC vet, as a barometer of excellence amid Bellator’s lightweight roster. Watch for ‘Pitbull’ to salivate at the sound of the bell and engage Henderson in a dog fight as Bellator’s main attraction.
Co-Main Event: Javy Ayala vs. Roy Nelson in the heavyweight division
Javy ‘Eye Candy’ Ayala (10-5) has been on Bellator’s payroll since 2013, and this heavyweight heartthrob signed his sweetest deal to date: Roy Nelson. Before serving the former UFC contender all-you-can-eat knuckle sandwiches, Ayala divided an overwhelming experience factor in half by blasting Sergei Kharitonov, a seasoned competitor with nearly thirty professional fights, at Bellator 163.
Over the past year, Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson (22-14) has suffered a checkered record in the UFC. When a position at Bellator opened an endless acreage of possibility for ‘Big Country,’ he transferred his talents to a prospering division. If Nelson thrives in his new home, he’ll find himself as a leading candidate for king of Bellator’s heavyweight brutes.
Feature Bout: Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin in the welterweight division
Regardless of Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley (39-15-2) and Lorenz ‘The Monsoon’ Larkin (18-6) entering Bellator 183 in the wake of losses, fight fans are the winners when these welterweights are locked between the wire fencing. It’s safe to assume: an explosive storm is brewing, and MMA enthusiasts will be hypnotized to the gale force winds packed with TNT for fifteen minutes—if necessary.
Goiti Yamauchi vs. Adam Piccolotti in the lightweight division
Goiti Yamauchi (21-3) has been branded by Bellator since Adam Piccolotti (9-0) ditched the amateur ranks in 2013. Ignoring disparities on the stats sheet, Piccolotti, a blue-chip prospect out of Raul Castillo Martial Arts, will further his march up Bellator’s lightweight ladder in front of his Bay Area collective.
Aaron Pico vs. Justin Linn in the featherweight division
After Aaron Pico (0-1) erased his Bellator debut from memory, he’s eager to ink a new chapter against Justin ‘The Mortal Sinn’ Linn (7-3). Pico, flying the flag of American Kickboxing Academy, and Linn, raised on the mean streets of Stockton, will model for those at the onset of Bellator 183’s main card the abilities of mixed martial artists molded in Northern California
Bellator 183’s Prelims include:
Brooke Mayo vs. Kaytlin Neil in the women’s flyweight division
Ricardo Vasquez vs. Justin Tenedora in the bantamweight division
Mike Ortega vs. Tony Johnson in the light heavyweight division
Brandon Laroco vs. Gaston Bolanos in the featherweight division
Corina Herrera vs. Jaymee Nievara in the flyweight division
Alex Lopez vs. Fernando Gonzalez in the welterweight division
Luis Jauregui vs. JJ Okanovich in the lightweight division
Anthony Castrejon vs. Daniel Gonzalez in the flyweight division
Bellator Kickboxing 7 includes:
Karim Ghajji vs. Raymond Daniels for the Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight Championship
Kevin Ross vs. Domenico Lomurno for the Bellator Kickboxing Featherweight Championship
Jorina Baars vs. Anke Van Gestel in the featherweight division
Joe Schilling vs. Najib Idali in the middlweight division
Malaipet vs. Jose Palacios in the welterweight division