CHRIS HONEYCUTT BATTLES UNDEFEATED JIU-JITSU ACE RAFAEL LOVATO JR. IN MIDDLEWEIGHT CO-MAIN EVENT
LOS ANGELES - The Bellator women's featherweight championship will be up for grabs on Friday, Dec. 1 when Julia Budd (10-2) defends her title in a rematch against Arlene Blencowe (10-6) at Bellator 189 inside WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., the same venue where Budd captured the inaugural belt earlier this year.
In addition, the co-main event of Bellator 189: Budd vs. Blencowe 2 will feature a middleweight contest pitting rising contender Chris Honeycutt (10-1) against undefeated Rafael Lovato Jr. (6-0). Additional main card and preliminary bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.
The event will be broadcast live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App. Tickets for Bellator 189: Budd vs. Blencowe 2 are on sale now and can be purchased at the WinStar World Casino and Resort box office, as well as Ticketmaster and Bellator.com.
A STRIKEFORCE veteran, Budd enters the Bellator cage on Dec. 1 as the first and only women's featherweight champion in promotional history. Currently in the midst of an eight-fight, six-year winning streak, the British Columbia native owns victories over the course of her career against Marloes Coenen, Germaine de Randamie, as well as Gina Carano in kickboxing. Budd has also previously competed at bantamweight, going toe-to-toe with both Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey during her tenure in STRIKEFORCE. Continuing the trend of taking on top-flight competition, Budd meets Blencowe at Bellator 189, in her second main event with Bellator.
The fighting pride of New South Wales, Australia, Arlene Blencowe enters her fight with Budd riding a three-fight winning streak, most recently edging out a split decision against Sinead Kavanagh in August. A former world champion boxer under the World Boxing Federation and Women's International Boxing Association, "Angerfist" nearly defeated Budd during their previous meeting at Bellator 162. A proud mother of two, the 34-year-old now has a chance to add more gold to her mantle, this time coming in the form of a Bellator MMA championship.
Since making the jump from welterweight to middleweight, the Fresno, Calif.-based Chris Honeycutt feels as though he is right at home in his newfound division. Riding a wave of momentum, which most recently culminated in a vicious stoppage against Kevin Casey, "The Cutt" must now get through BJJ ace Rafael Lovato Jr. The undefeated Lovato Jr. has experienced his own wave of success since signing with Bellator, including a submission victory over Mike "Biggie" Rhodes. These two middleweights will meet in the co-main event of Bellator 189: Budd vs. Blencowe 2 in an exciting battle between a two-time NCAA Division I Wrestling All-American at Edinboro University taking on a World Jiu-Jitsu and World No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu champion.
Updated Bellator 189: Budd vs. Blencowe 2 Fight Card:
Women's Featherweight World Title Main Event: Julia Budd (10-2) vs. Arlene Blencowe (10-6)
Middleweight Co-Main Event: Chris Honeycutt (10-1) vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. (6-0)
Bellator is a leading mixed martial arts and kickboxing organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 1 billion people worldwide in over 160 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on SPIKE, the combat sports television leader. Bellator 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 Hollywood, Calif. 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.
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