SANTA MONICA, Calif. (August 11, 2015) – Joe Warren’s (12-4) road to reclaim the Bellator MMA Bantamweight Championship will begin on Friday, September 25 against L.C. Davis, (23-6) when the two meet at the promotion’s debut at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas.
In addition, Joey Beltran (16-11, 1 NC) will face Kendall Grove (21-15, 1 NC) in an explosive middleweight encounter.
The contests serve as the headlining and co-headlining bouts of "Bellator 143: Warren vs. Davis," which airs live on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream on Spike.com at 7 p.m. ET.
Tickets for Bellator 143, which start at just $20, go on sale this Friday, August 14 at Ticketmaster.com and the State Farm Arena box office, with a special Bellator Nation presale available on the 12th and 13th for fans using the code: Bellator. Doors for the event open at 5:00 p.m. CT local time, and the first contest takes place shortly after. Additional bouts will be announced shortly.
“Mixed martial arts has a rich history in the state of Texas and Bellator looks forward to returning to the Lone Star State for the first time since 2012 with a stacked card in tow,” Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said. “Joe Warren has been itching to get back in action and return to the 135-pound title chase, while L.C. Davis has momentum on his side since his ‘Fight of the Year’ caliber matchup against Hideo Tokoro in March. I’m truly looking forward to it.”
Warren is a two-division champion who also served as a coach during the inaugural season of “Fight Master.” In addition to his win over the current bantamweight champion Marcos Galvao, the Olympic-caliber wrestler has defeated an impressive list of fighters including Georgi Karakhanyan, Patricio Freire, and Eduardo Dantas since taking up the sport of mixed martial arts in 2009.
Davis was one half of arguably the best MMA contest thus far in 2015 when he faced Hideo Tokoro at “Bellator 135: “Warren vs. Galvao 2.” The former World Extreme Cagefighting and Affliction standout has nearly double the amount of fight experience than “The Baddest Man on the Planet” boasts, and has emerged victorious in seven of his last eight professional contests.
It’s safe to assume that whoever emerges the winner on September 25th will have plenty to say about whether their next bout should come with championship gold on the line.
Since entering the Bellator MMA fray in 2013, Beltran has competed against some of the best light heavyweights the promotion has to offer, with matchups against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko, Emanuel “The Hardcore Kid” Newton. After transitioning to middleweight at “Bellator 136: Brooks vs. Jansen” in April, “Mexicutioner” emerged victorious from an enthralling encounter against Brian “The Predator” Rogers with the majority decision.
The San Diego, Calif., native has finished 13 of his 16 victories as a professional and will look to extend his current winning streak when he returns to the Bellator MMA cage.
Competing professionally since 2003, Grove has been involved in some epic matchups, including his most recent effort against Brandon Halsey at “Bellator 137: Halsey vs. Grove” in May. At only 32-years-old, “Da Spyder” hopes that a win against another prolific striker like Beltran will serve him well in his pursuit of Bellator MMA gold.
Will the high-towering Hawaiian manage to submit Beltran for only the second time in his mixed martial arts run? If there is anyone capable of such a feat, it’s the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt accredited Grove.