Rafael Carvalho believes Bellator 200 will be his time to shine.
Carvalho will defend his Bellator middleweight title against Gegard Mousasi in the co-main event of Bellator 200. Despite being a title bout, the match-up will take a backseat to Mirko Cro Cop vs. Roy Nelson II. This isn’t the first time Bellator has done this as Bellator NYC and Bellator 192 had title fights, but they didn’t headline either card.
Still, Carvalho knows he’s in for the most high-profile bout of his professional mixed martial arts career. Mousasi’s run in Strikeforce and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have brought him name recognition. If Carvalho can defeat “The Dreamcatcher” then there is no doubting his legitimacy as a world class middleweight.
Speaking to MMAJunkie.com, Carvalho said he plans to seize the moment:
“It’s where I’ll be able to solidify my entire career. For me, it will be very important to be able to truly leave my mark in the MMA world and for other fighters to see me with different eyes.”
This will be Carvalho’s fourth title defense. He’s successfully defended his gold against Melvin Manhoef twice and most recently knocked out Alessio Sakara for a third defense. Carvalho hasn’t suffered a loss since his first professional bout back in Dec. 2011.
Bellator 200 will take place inside the SSE Arena, Wembley in London, England. The action takes place on May 25. The main card will air on The Paramount Network via tape delay.
Besides the main event and co-headliner, Bellator 200 will also feature the return of Michael Page. He’ll go one-on-one with David Rickels. Also set for action is former Bellator light heavyweight champion Phil Davis. He’ll do battle with Linton Vassell. The main card gets underway with a catchweight bout between Aaron Chalmers and Ash Griffiths.
Who are you picking to walk away with middleweight gold, Rafael Carvalho or Gegard Mousasi?