Steve Carl vs. Rory Markham official for Bellator 26 in Kansas City on Aug. 26th

CHICAGO, Ill. (August 17, 2010) — Bellator Fighting Championships today announced that Bellator Season 2 welterweight semi-finalist Steve Carl (10-2-0) will take on fellow Iowa-native, hard-hitting UFC veteran Rory Markham (16-6-0) at Bellator 26 taking place at the Kansas City Power & Light District on Aug. 26th.

Carl is coming off of a loss to Season 2 runner-up Dan Hornbuckle at Bellator 19 last May.  Prior to the defeat Carl held an impressive seven fight win-streak.  Carl’s budding mixed martial arts career is just four years old, but he already has notched 10 impressive wins with six victories coming by way of submission.  The Iraq War veteran now faces one of the toughest fights in his young career when he faces off with the always exciting Rory Markham.

Markham, a product of the Miletich Martial Arts camp out of Bettendorf, Iowa, has yet to see a judge’s decision in his 22 fight career.  With sixteen total wins in his six-year plus career, eleven have come via KO or TKO. The 28-year-old fighter showed a combative spirit at a young age, getting involved in traditional Karate and eventually competing in tournaments where he became affiliated with legendary trainer Pat Miletich.  With an established willingness to stand and trade, there is no question that Markhamwill bring-it in his Bellator 26 match-up with Carl.

However, Carl is no stranger to a challenge.  Just yesterday he received his honorable discharge papers from the U.S. Army, ending an eight-year service commitment that included a tour of Iraq.  Carl became interested in MMA while stationed in Fort Hood, Texas.

“As an MMA fan, I’m really looking forward to this fight,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Markham is one of the toughest guys in the sport and Carl showed huge  tenacity in his fight with Brett Cooper—this should be a great fight.”

Tickets for the event – which will also be broadcast LIVE nationwide on FOX Sports Net along with action-packed highlight shows that will air on NBC Saturday nights – are on sale now at

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