Rafael Carvalho to Make Next Bellator MW Title Defense vs. Alessio Sakara in Italy

By Tristen Critchfield Jul 12, 2017


Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho will make his next title defense against Alessio Sakara at the end of the year.

Sherdog.com confirmed the news with a promotion official on Wednesday following an initial report from MMAFighting.com. While the Bellator has not announced a numbered event for the card, the event is expected to take place in Florence, Italy on Dec. 9.

Carvalho hasn’t lost a fight since his professional debut in December 2011. The 30-year-old Brazilian captured middleweight gold with a body kick KO of Brandon Halsey at Bellator 144. He has since defended the belt successfully against Melvin Manhoef twice, including a head kick knockout of “No Mercy” in his last appearance at Bellator 176.

A native of Rome, Italy, Sakara enters the matchup on a three-fight winning streak. The 15-time UFC veteran has scored back-to-back stoppages under the Bellator banner, knocking out Brian Rogers in the second round in April 2016 before stopping Joey Beltran in the opening stanza last December.

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