The action-packed lineup for “Bellator MMA: Brooks vs. Jansen” continues to fill, and the latest round of additions includes a key lightweight matchup between two international contenders with a combined 50 career victories, as well as four intriguing preliminary contests.
The new matchups include a main-card lightweight contest of Marcin Held (20-3) vs. Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy (30-2), as well as preliminary bouts of bantamweights Jared “The Jackhammer” Papazian (18-11) vs. Raja Shippen (14-9-1), middleweights Joey “Mexicutioner” Beltran (15-11) vs. Brian “The Professional Predator” Rogers (11-7), lightweights Saad “Assassin” Awad (17-6) vs. Rob “C4” Sinclair (12-2) and flyweights Jonathan Santa Maria (3-0) vs. Steve Ramirez (0-1).
“Bellator: Brooks vs. Jansen” takes place on Friday, April 10, at Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif. The night’s televised main card, featuring Bellator MMA Lightweight World Champion Will Brooks vs. top contender Dave Jansen, airs live on Spike TV (9 p.m. ET), while preliminary bouts stream live on Spike.com (7 p.m. ET).
Tickets for “Bellator: Brooks vs. Jansen,” which start at just $38, are already on sale at Bellator.com and Bren.UCI.edu
The 23-year-old Held, a native of Tychy, Poland, is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who boasts one of the most dangerous submission games in the world. A former no-gi grappling world champion, Held has been competing in mixed martial arts professionally since 2008 and has earned 11 of his 20 career wins by tapout. With just one loss in his past 11 appearances, Held owns Bellator MMA wins over Patricky Pitbull, Nate Jolly, Derek Anderson, Rodrigo Cavalheiro, Ryan Healy, Rich Clementi, Murad Machaev, Derrick Kennington and Phillipe Nover.
The 26-year-old Sarnavskiy, from Omsk, Russia, has an equally impressive record and has earned the rank of Master of Sport in hand-to-hand combat. A seven-time Bellator MMA veteran, Sarnavskiy is currently enjoying a five-fight winning streak and is 10-1 in his past 11 appearances. In his 30 career victories, 25 have come by stoppage, including 18 submissions and seven knockouts.
Papazian, of West Hills, Calif., is a seven-year veteran of the sport who has been training in martial arts since he was just 6 years old. A former King of the Cage flyweight champion, Papazian is 3-1 in his past four outings. He faces Shippen, of Lake Forest, Calif. A Reign Training Center product, Shippen is 11-1 in his past 12 appearances and has earned 13 of his 14 career wins by stoppage, including five knockouts and eight submissions.
The hard-hitting Beltran, of San Diego, Calif., Beltran is a three-time Bellator MMA veteran and former light heavyweight who now makes his first appearance in the middleweight divisions. A slugger by trade, 11 of Beltran’s 15 career wins have come by way of knockout. He now meets fellow knockout artist Rogers, of Denver, Colo. With nine Bellator MMA appearances to his name, Rogers also prefers to stand and bang and has earned nine of his 11 career wins with strikes.
Awad, of San Bernadino, Calif., is a Millennia MMA product who owns five wins under the Bellator MMA banner, four of which have come by stoppage. Fourteen of his 17 career wins have come by stoppage, including seven knockouts and seven submissions. He faces Sinclair, of Manchester, England, who is 8-1 in his past nine appearances. Ten of Sinclair’s 12 career wins have come by way of finish, including nine knockouts, and he now makes his Bellator MMA debut.
Santa Maria, of Whittier, Calif., is a Reign Training Center fighter who made his professional debut in March 2014 and has already picked up three victories, including a November win under the Bellator MMA banner. He now faces Ramirez, of Corona, Calif., who suffered a split-decision loss in his professional debut and now hopes to earn his first official career victory.
Additional contests, including one more main-card matchup, will be announced shortly
“Bellator: Brooks vs. Jansen” – Friday, April 10, Bren Events Center, Irvine, Calif.
Main Card (9 p.m. ET)
Bellator Lightweight Title Fight: Champ Will Brooks (15-1) vs. Dave Jansen (20-2)
Bellator Middleweight Feature Fight: Rafael Carvalho (10-1) vs. Joe Schilling (2-3)
Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Marcin Held (20-3) vs. Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy (30-2)
Preliminary Card (7 p.m. ET)
Bellator Bantamweight Prelim Fight: Jared Papazian (18-11) vs. Raja Shippen (14-9-1)
Bellator Middleweight Prelim Fight: Joey Beltran (15-11) vs. Brian Rogers (11-7)
Bellator Lightweight Prelim Fight: Saad Awad (17-6) vs. Rob Sinclair (12-2)
Bellator Flyweight Prelim Fight: Jonathan Santa Maria (3-0) vs. Steve Ramirez (0-1)