Bellator: Brooks vs. Jansen” lineup complete with 13 fights
new contests include Tony Johnson vs. Alexander Volkov, Fabricio Guerreiro vs. John Teixeira
Additional new preliminary contests added to the lineup include a 150-pound catchweight contest of Cleber Luciano (10-5) vs. Aaron “Blood Spiller” Miller (14-9) bantamweights Chad “Savage” George (15-8) vs. Mark Vorgeas (5-2-1), middleweights Ben Jones (4-4) vs. Luc Bondole (4-1-1), welterweights John “Johnny Merc” Mercurio (6-7) vs. Greg Parker (4-1) and featherweights Marcos “Murder Marx” Bonilla (1-1) vs. A.J. McKee (0-0).
A previously announced preliminary contest of bantamweights Jared Papazian (18-11) vs. Raja Shippen (14-9-1) has been removed from the card.
“Bellator: Brooks vs. Jansen” takes place on Friday, April 10, at Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif. The night’s televised main card, featuring Bellator MMA Lightweight World Champion Will Brooks vs. top contender Dave Jansen, airs live on Spike TV (9 p.m. ET), while preliminary bouts stream live on Spike.com (7 p.m. ET).
Johnson, of North Platte, Neb., is an American Kickboxing Academy product who returns to the Bellator MMA cage for the first time since a 2011 victory over Derrick Lewis. Including a pair of appearances fighting overseas in Maylasia and the Philippines, Johnson is currently 4-1 in his past five contests, most recently needing just 81 seconds to score a TKO win over Robert Neal. Johnson also owns a win over former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia.
Meanwhile, 26-year-old Russian slugger Volkov, a Moscow native, has earned 17 of his 24 career victories through strikes. An incredible 15-1 in his past 16 appearances, Volkov’s only loss in that span came in a 25-minute matchup with current Bellator MMA Heavyweight World Champion Vitaly Minakov. Aiming for another shot at that belt, Volkov appears primed for a breakout performance.
At just 24 years old, Guerreiro, of Santana, Amapa, Brazil, already boasts 20 career victories, 17 of which have come by way of stoppage. With Bellator MMA wins over Shahbulat Shamhalaev and Desmond Green already under his belt, Guerreiro makes his fourth Bellator MMA appearance.
Meanwhile, Teixeira is a 28-year-old who hails from just 12 miles away from his opponent, growing up in Macapa, Amapa, Brazil. With just one loss in a 20-fight career that dates back to 2007, Teixeira was victorious in his Bellator MMA debut and now looks to defeat a cross-state rival on an international stage.
Brazilian-born Luciano now lives in Huntington Beach, Calif., where he serves as a jiu-jitsu instructor in his own academy. A Royler Gracie black belt since he was 19 years old, Luciano has started to focus more on MMA in recent years and is an impressive 10-2 in his past 12 appearances, with seven submission wins in that span. He’ll face Miller, of Hacienda Heights, Calif., who returns to action following 16 months on the sidelines after a submission loss to Michael Guymon. Prior to the result, Miller had boasted a five-fight winning streak.
George, of Los Angeles, Calif., is nearing 10 years in the sport but now makes his Bellator MMA debut. While George has never been knocked out in 23 professional contests, he has been tapped out in six of his eight career losses. He now faces Vorgeas, of Laguna Hills, Calif., who owns four of his five career victories by tapout.
Bondole is originally from Portland, Maine, but now makes his home in Huntington Beach, Calif., where he trains with Kings MMA. Bondole seeks revenge after suffering his first career loss in his Bellator MMA debut. He now meets Jones, of Riverside, Calif., who fights for the first time under the Bellator MMA banner. Jones has never fought to a judges’ decision in his eight career contests to date.
Mercurio, of Huntington Beach, Calif., seeks his first victory under the Bellator MMA banner. He meets crosstown rival Parker, who has yet to fight to a judges’ decision in his first five appearances.
Bonilla, of Los Angeles, Calif., recently picked up his first official career win and now meets McKee, of Lakewood, Calif., who makes his professional debut.
“Bellator: Brooks vs. Jansen” – Friday, April 10, Bren Events Center, Irvine, Calif.
Main Card (9 p.m. ET)
Bellator Lightweight Title Fight: Champ Will Brooks (15-1) vs. Dave Jansen (20-2)
Bellator Middleweight Feature Fight: Joe Schilling (2-3) vs. Rafael Carvalho (10-1)
Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Marcin Held (20-3) vs. Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy (30-2)
Bellator Heavyweight Feature Fight: Alexander Volkov (24-4) vs. Tony Johnson (8-2)
Preliminary Card (7 p.m. ET)
Bellator Welterweight Prelim Fight: John Mercurio (6-7) vs. Greg Parker (4-1)
Bellator Middleweight Prelim Fight: Joey Beltran (15-11) vs. Brian Rogers (11-7)
Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Saad Awad (17-6) vs. Rob Sinclair (12-2)
Bellator Flyweight Prelim Fight: Fabricio Guerreiro (20-3) vs. John Teixeira (17-1-2)
Bellator Flyweight Prelim Fight: Jonathan Santa Maria (3-0) vs. Steve Ramirez (0-1)
Bellator Featherweight Prelim Fight: Marcos Bonilla (1-1) vs. A.J. McKee (0-0)
Dark Bouts (Following Spike TV broadcast)
Bellator Middleweight Prelim Fight: Ben Jones (4-4) vs. Luc Bondole (4-1-1)
Bellator Bantamweight Prelim Fight: Chad George (15-8) vs. Mark Vorgeas (5-2-1)
Bellator Catchweight (150 pounds) Prelim Fight: Cleber Luciano (10-5) vs. Aaron Miller (14-9)