Bellator 155’s Rafael Carvalho Feels Respected As Champion

Rafael Carvalho hasn’t lost a fight since his 2011 debut contest.

That includes an October TKO over Brandon Halsey that netted Carvalho (12-1) the Bellator middleweight title.

He’ll defend that belt for the first time this Friday night at Bellator 155 against Melvin Manhoef. The contest, set for the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, airs live on Spike TV.

After debuting in Bellator two years ago with a first round finish vs. Brian Rogers, Carvalho scored a decision vs. Joe Schilling to earn his shot at the belt.

Despite coming in as the champion, the Brazilian isn’t looking past Manhoef or anybody else for that matter.

“Every fight you’ve got to show what you got. In this fight, it’s going to be no different (now that I’m a champ). I’m going to show everything I’ve got and I am always looking forward to the next fight,” he said, during a recent press conference. “People recognize me more now and I have gained more respect now as the champion. Winning the belt for the first time is one thing, but the real deal is when you defend the belt and keep the belt.

“That’s when you become the real champion.”