Emmanuel Sanchez replaces an injured Goiti Yamauchi, plus four fights to complete "Bellator: Kongo vs. Volkov"

Jun 13, 2015
(PRESS RELEASE) -- SANTA MONICA, California – With an unfortunate injury forcing the withdrawal of Goiti Yamauchi, Emmanuel Sanchez (10-1) receives the call to step in against former featherweight champion Pat Curran (20-7). With this change of opponent, and four newly announced matchups, “Bellator MMA: Kongo vs. Volkov” on June 26 is now complete with 13 total scraps to sink your teeth into.

The additional fights include heavyweight bouts between Alex Huddleston (5-1) vs. Javy Ayala (8-3) and Derek Bohi (5-4) vs. Frederick Brown (2-1) as well as featherweights Greg Scott (3-3) vs. Gaston Reyno (3-0) and lightweights Marcio Navarro (13-11) vs. Cody Carrillo (8-11).

“Bellator MMA: Kongo vs. Volkov” is headlined by a heavyweight clash between French striking specialist Cheick “The Darkness” Kongo (22-10-2) and former Bellator MMA Heavyweight World Champion Alexander "Drago" Volkov (24-5). The event takes place June 26 at Kansas Star Event Center Arena in Mulvane, Kan.

The night's main card airs live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts stream on Spike.com at 7 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. CT. Tickets for "Bellator: Kongo vs. Volkov” start at just $17 and are currently available at Ticketmaster.com.

Additional announced pairings on the SPIKE-televised card include lightweights Dave Rickels (16-3) vs. John Alessio (35-17) and a contest between middleweight sluggers with Joe Schilling (2-4) vs. Hisaki Kato (4-1).

The 24-year-old Sanchez is an explosive featherweight, fighting with Duke Roufus out of the famed Roufusport gym in Milwaukee. The two-time Bellator veteran has shined throughout his current six-fight winning streak, most recently scoring a first-round rear naked choke over Stephen Banaszak at Bellator 128 followed by a dominant unanimous decision over Costa Rican standout Alejandro Villalobos at Bellator 135 this past March. Sanchez faces stiff competition in former featherweight kingpin Curran, who has been involved in some of the most memorable Bellator fights of all time.

Huddleston, 28, is a key training has won four consecutive tilts since dropping the first fight of his professional career in 2011. Most recently, “The Shaved Gorilla” stopped Derek Bohl at Bellator 130. Standing opposite Huddleston inside the cage will be the 26-year-old Ayala, who is on a three-fight promotional winning streak of his own. The California native has stopped his last three foes before reaching the judges’ discretion.

In the second added heavyweight feature, Bohl will seek his first win for the Southern California-based promotion. “Marshmallow” has won his first two bouts in 2015 on the regional circuit. Brown will have his second opportunity at success for Bellator against Bohl. The hometown fighter was finished by Daniel Gallemore at Bellator 113, which was his last time in action.

Undefeated at 3-0, Reyno will bring the tenacity he has shown on the independent MMA scene to the Bellator cage. “Tonga” has finished every fight he has been involved in and will look to make a mark on the featherweight division with his debut. Scott, a Whichita native, made his Bellator MMA debut in 2011 and has had a mixed bag of success.

Lastly, a pair of experienced lightweights will round out the preliminary portion of the card when Navarro and Carrillo tangle inside the steel mesh. With 43 professional bouts between them, both veterans will attempt to string together some wins under the Bellator banner.

"Bellator MMA: Kongo vs. Volkov" – Friday, June 26, Kanas Star Event Center Arena, Mulvane, Kansas

Main Card (9 p.m. ET)

Bellator Heavyweight Main Event: Cheick Kongo (22-10-2) vs. Alexander Volkov (24-5)

Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Dave Rickels (16-3) vs. John Alessio (35-17)

Bellator Featherweight Feature Fight: Pat Curran (20-7) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (10-1)

Bellator Middleweight Feature Fight: Joe Schilling (2-4) vs. Hisaki Kato (4-1)

Preliminary Card

Bellator Featherweight Prelim Fight: Bubba Jenkins (8-2) vs. Joe Wilk (18-10)

Bellator Bantamweight Prelim Fight: Jeimeson Saudino (8-4) vs. Aaron Ely (4-2)

Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Bobby Cooper (12-5) vs. Pablo Villaseca (9-0)

Bellator Heavyweight Prelim Fight: Daniel Gallemore (4-2) vs. Augusto Sakai (7-0)

Bellator Female Featherweight Prelim Fight: Iony Razafiarison (2-0) vs. Bryanna Fissori (1-0)

Bellator Heavyweight Prelim Fight: Alex Huddleston (5-1) vs. Javy Ayala (8-3)

Bellator Featherweight Prelim Fight: Greg Scott (3-3) vs. Gaston Reyno (3-0)

Bellator Heavyweight Prelim Fight: Derek Bohi (5-4) vs. Frederick Brown (2-1)

Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Marcio Navarro (13-11) vs. Cody Carrillo (8-11)

About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 400 million homes worldwide in over 120 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike, the MMA television leader. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.

About Spike:

Spike is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike's Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike's press site at http://www.spike.com/press. Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

About Kansas Star Arena

The Kansas Star Arena, a Boyd Gaming facility, is located just off Exit 33 on the Kansas Turnpike and is adjacent to the Kansas Star Casino. The 42,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Kansas Star Arena is south-central Kansas’ home for big-name national acts such as Journey, Pat Benatar, Championship Rodeo, mixed martial arts events and more. The Arena accommodates up to 6,500 guests for headliner events. In 2014, Midwest Gaming and Travel awarded the Kansas Star more than 25 honors in its annual Reader’s Choice Awards, including “Best Concert Venue” in the state of Kansas. For more information, visit kansasstarcasino.com. Connect with Kansas Star Arena at facebook.com/kansasstararena and www.kansasstarcasino.com/entertain/arena. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Boyd Gaming is a leading diversified owner and operator of 22 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey. Boyd Gaming and Kansas Star Casino press releases are available at boydgaming.mediaroom.com.
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