MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Bellator Middleweight Title Bout Set

Brandon HalseyBack in May, Brandon Halsey missed weight for his scheduled middleweight title defense against Kendall Grove. He was subsequently stripped of the title, even after defeating the former TUF winner via fourth round TKO. Halsey’s actions left Bellator in a bit of a quandary, as putting anyone but Halsey — clearly the best middleweight on their roster — in a title bout would have devalued the belt, but putting Halsey back in a title fight may result in him missing weight again. The organization decided to trust their fighter this time around, and Halsey has now been rebooked in a bout for the vacant middleweight title against Rafael Carvalho, set to co-main event Bellator 144 in October. Bellator 144 will be headlined by the rematch between bantamweight champion Marcos Galvao and challenger Eduardo Dantas, who has reversed roles since the first time they met. As far as the middleweight fight goes, Halsey will open a large favorite over Carvalho, potentially in the -600 range, and it will likely be another dominant victory for him. Carvalho made his way into the title picture by knocking out Brian Rogers in his Bellator debut, and then winning a competitive decision (a significant chunk of which was spent grappling, somewhat competitively) with Joe Schilling. That’s right, a man who was taken down by kickboxer Joe Schilling, who was swept at one point by kickboxer Joe Schilling, is now going to face an actual grappler. Unless Carvalho lands the punch of his life before Halsey scores his first takedown, this is going to get ugly for the Brazilian. The news seems to be all Bellator on Friday, leading up to Bellator 141 later this evening, as Scott Coker also announced that Josh Koscheck is likely to make his Bellator debut at Bellator 146 in December. The event will be close to home for Koscheck as it will be taking place in Fresno. No opponent has been announced yet for Koscheck, but Coker has designs on a Koscheck/Paul Daley rematch in 2016, so don’t expect too much of a test for the former UFC title challenger. Also on Bellator 146, Koscheck’s fellow Fighting Scot, Chris Honeycutt, will be returning to action against vaunted opponent TBD. Honeycutt’s last Bellator appearance was a bit anti-climatic, as his bout with Paul Bradley ended in a no contest, but the 27-year-old did show improvement in his striking during the bout, which was especially important since he wasn’t able to secure takedowns. Last note on Bellator for Friday, Scott Coker said that the organization has no plans to pursue Fedor Emelianenko at the present time. This likely means that Fedor’s return will end up being with M-1 in Russia, and perhaps after a bout or two, we may see the legendary fighter back in North America.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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