With a near 40 KO’s between the two, a middleweight clash between Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef and Doug “The Rhino” Marshall will be can’t miss television on Friday, September 19th as the two square off in the main event of the evening at Bellator 125 live on Spike. The night will also showcase a full preliminary card featuring some of California’s top talent. Tickets for the event are available at the Save Mart Center Box Office, Ticketmaster.com or Bellator.com.
Kicking of the Spike.com portion of the night will be a battle of California natives as Ron Keslar faces Jesse Juarez. A former welterweight tournament finalist, Keslar has grabbed five of his 11 victories by submission and will put his skills to the test against an experienced fighter in Juarez who has tallied 30 professional fights and 13 finish victories.
Looking to maintain his undefeated record, Fresno’s own and top MMA prospect Chris Honeycutt will make his Bellator debut and fight Aaron Wilkinson on September 19th. Hailing from the UK, Wilkinson is making his Bellator debut and enters the cage having previously won four of his last five fights. At 4-0 Honeycutt has recorded three of his wins by first round KO or submission and is ready to put on an explosive and exciting fight for this hometown crowd.
After recording a TKO win over Josh Arocho in his Bellator debut at Bellator 117, Julio Cesar Neves returns to the Bellator cage to face California native Poppies Martinez. At only 20-years-old, Neves holds a strong 29-0 record, but will have to hold off the veteran Martinez, who will rely on his strong ground game and has posted 18 wins by submission, 16 coming in the first round.
Both looking to make their mark under the Bellator banner, Anthony Ruiz will fight Rafael Carvalho in a middleweight battle. A MMA veteran, Ruiz is entering the Bellator cage for the first time and has tallied 33 professional wins, 22 coming by KO or submission. With only one professional loss, Carvalho has recorded eight of his nine victories by knockout and his looking for the KO against Ruiz.
Rounding out the preliminary card will be two featherweight battles as Joel Neal faces Paul Ruiz and Jonny Bonilla-Bowman looks to improve his perfect record. Granson Clark will take on George Zuniga in a middleweight bout and California native Matt Ramirez will make his professional debut against Oscar Ramirez in front of the Save Mart Center fans.
Full fight card is listed below.
Middleweight Feature Fight: Doug Marshall (18-7) vs. Melvin Manhoef (28-11-1)
Middleweight Feature Fight: James Irvin (17-10) vs. Brian Rogers (11-6)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Martin Stapleton (13-3) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (17-2)
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Javy Ayala (7-3) vs. Raphael Butler (8-0-1)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Ron Keslar (11-6) vs. Jesse Juarez (21-9)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Aaron Wilkinson (11-6) vs. Chris Honeycutt (4-0)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Julio Cesar Neves (29-0) vs. Poppies Martinez (29-10)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Granson Clark (2-1) vs. George Zuniga (2-0)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Jonny Bonilla-Bowman (2-0) vs. Sergio Cortez (9-8)
Flyweight Feature Fight: Oscar Ramirez (3-1) vs. Matt Ramirez (debut)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Joe Neal (3-0) vs. Paul Ruiz (5-1)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Rafael Carvalho (9-1) vs. Anthony Ruiz (33-18)