Rafael Carvalho is ready to return to action this month.
On July 12, Carvalho will go one-on-one against Chidi Njokuani in the co-main event of Bellator 224. The action takes place inside the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Carvalho will look to get past his two-fight skid.
While Carvalho dropped a split decision to Lyoto Machida back in Dec. 2018, the former Bellator middleweight champion told MMA News that he believes he deserved to win:
“Yes I won the fight, I won the first two rounds and I hurt [him] enough to win. I [would’ve gone for the knockout]. I won the fight. Yes, against Mousasi I [had] a bad fight, against Lyoto I fought much better.”
When it comes to his next opponent, Carvalho said he’s got an answer for Njokuani’s game.
“He is a dangerous striker, his low kicks are powerful. But I know how to stop them. I believe [he] will be motivated, he will have the opportunity to face the former champion.”
Rafael Lovato Jr. challenged Gegard Mousasi for the Bellator middleweight gold last month. Lovato Jr. defeated Mousasi via majority decision to capture the title. Carvalho praised both men.
“I watched the fight, was cheering for Lovato. It was a sensational fight. Lovato was a warrior and [I believed] until the last second that [he] could win. I congratulate him for the great victory. As a fan [of] both fighters congratulations, it was a very beautiful fight.”
Carvalho made his prediction for the Njokuani bout short and sweet.
“I’ll beat him by knockout.”
Finally, the Brazilian bruiser took some time to thank his sponsors and supporters.
“Thanks to all my sponsors, LA sport, my new team America Top Team, my new teammates, thank you Roan Jucao, Conan Silveira, my managers Josef Borges and Luiz Alberto. My old team Evolution Fighters, my former training buddies and Andre Dida my former coach.”