A thrilling 13-bout lineup for May’s “Bellator MMA: Halsey vs. Grove” is now complete with the addition of women’s featherweights A.J. Jenkins (17-5) vs. Arlene “Angerfist” Blencowe (5-4), bantamweights Shawn “Bunch the Great” Bunch (3-1) vs. Rolando Perez (7-4) and John Yoo (0-0) vs. Albert “The Warrior” Morales (1-0) to the evening’s preliminary card.
The three new additions finalize a nine-fight preliminary card scheduled in support of “Bellator MMA: Halsey vs. Grove” four main card contests.
The night’s featured matchups include undefeated Bellator MMA World Middleweight ChampionBrandon “Bull” Halsey (8-0) against towering Hawaiian scrapper Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove (21-14), former Bellator MMA World Champion Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas (16-4) vs. Mike “The Marine” Richman (18-5), welterweights Fernando “The Menifee Maniac” Gonzalez (23-13) vs. “Curtious” Curtis Millander (7-1) and bantamweights Darrion “The Wolf” Caldwell (6-0) vs. Rafael “Morcego” Silva (22-4).
“Bellator: Halsey vs. Grove” takes place on Friday, May 15, at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif. The night’s main card airs live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT local time), while preliminary bouts stream on Spike.com.
Tickets for “Bellator: Halsey vs. Grove,” which start at just $50, are currently on sale at Pechanga.comand the Pechanga Resort & Casino box office.
Doors for “Bellator: Halsey vs. Grove” open at 4 p.m. PT local time, and the first contest takes place 45 minutes later.
Jenkins, of Oceanside, Calif., is one of the most experienced competitors in women’s MMA. Fighting professionally since 2004, Jenkins now makes her Bellator MMA debut. The 33-year-old boasts past tussles with MMA notables Shayna Baszler, Tonya Evinger, Jan Finney, Kelly Kobold and Sarah Schneider, among others.
An Australian native, Blencowe is a world-class athlete and former Women’s International Boxing Association World light welterweight champion. After turning her attention to MMA in 2013, Blencowe initially garnered only mixed results as she adjusted to life in the sport. However, she has racked up three-consecutive stoppage wins as of late, and that run earned her a call from Bellator MMA.
Bunch is one of MMA’s most elite-level wrestlers as a two-time NCAA Division I All-American and two-time U.S. Olympic Team alternate. He now trains with the famed American Kickboxing Academy banner and has spent his entire professional MMA career under the Bellator MMA banner.
Meanwhile, Alliance MMA product Perez is a 10-year veteran of the sport who made his Bellator MMA in November and fought to a rarely-seen split draw. Still, Perez is unbeaten in his past four contests and now looks to get his first win in the promotion.
Yoo, of Irvine, Calif., makes his professional debut. He meets Morales, of Carson, Calif., who picked up a submission victory in the Bellator cage in his first professional contest.
“Bellator: Halsey vs. Grove” – Friday, May 15, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, Calif.
Main Card (9 p.m. ET)
Bellator Middleweight Title Fight: Champ Brandon Halsey (8-0) vs. Kendall Grove (21-14)
Bellator Featured Bantamweight Fight: Eduardo Dantas (16-4) vs. Mike Richman (18-5)
Bellator Featured Welterweight Fight: Fernando Gonzalez (23-13) vs. Curtis Millender (7-1)
Bellator Featured Bantamweight Fight: Darrion Caldwell (6-0) vs. Rafael Silva (22-4)
Preliminary Card (7:45 p.m. ET)
Bellator Middleweight Prelim Fight: A.J. Matthews (7-3) vs. Ben Reiter (14-0)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Prelim Fight: Virgil Zwicker (13-4-1) vs. Razak Al-Hassan (12-4)
Bellator Bantamweight Prelim Fight: Joe Taimanglo (20-6-1) vs. Antonio Duarte (18-5)
Bellator Featherweight Prelim Fight: Jordan Parsons (10-1) vs. Julio Cesar Neves Jr. (30-0)
Bellator Welterweight Prelim Fight: Jesse Juarez (22-9) vs. Ricky Rainey (10-3)
Dark Fights (approx. 11 p.m. ET)
Bellator Lightweight Dark Prelim: John Yoo (0-0) vs. Albert Morales (1-0)
Bellator Lightweight Dark Prelim: Shawn Bunch (3-1) vs. Rolando Perez (7-4)
Bellator Lightweight Dark Prelim: Steve Kozola (5-0) vs. Ian Butler (1-1)
Bellator Lightweight Dark Prelim: A.J. Jenkins (17-5) vs. Arlene Blencowe (5-4)