Bellator MMA: Halsey vs. Grove" preliminary card takes shape with Jesse Juarez vs. Ricky Rainey, Joe Taimanglo vs. Antonio Duarte, and Jordan Parsons-Julio Cesar Neves Jr.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (April 9, 2015) – A talent-laden preliminary card for May's "Bellator MMA: Halsey vs. Grove" event is starting to take shape with the addition of welterweights Jesse Juarez (22-9) vs. Ricky "The Sniper" Rainey (10-3), bantamweights Joe "The Juggernaut" Taimanglo (20-6-1) vs. Antonio "Tigre" Duarte (18-5) and featherweight Jordan "Pretty Boy" Parsons (10-1) vs. Julio Cesar "Morceguinho" Neves Jr. (30-0).
The new additions complement the four-bout main card for "Bellator MMA: Halsey vs. Grove," which includes undefeated Bellator MMA World Middleweight Champion Brandon "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), light heavyweights Virgil "Rezdog" Zwicker (13-4-1) vs. "Razor" Razak Al-Hassan (12-4) and welterweights Fernando "The Menifee Maniac" Gonzalez (23-13) vs. "Curtious" Curtis Millander (7-1).
"Bellator: Halsey vs. Grove" takes place on Friday, May 15, at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif. The night's main card airs live on Spike TV 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.com and the Pechanga Resort & Casino box office.
Doors for "Bellator: Halsey vs. Grove" open at 3:30 p.m. PT local time, and the first contest takes place 30 minutes later. Additional bouts will be announced shortly.
Juarez, of Torrance, Calif., is a seven-time Bellator MMA veteran whose days with the company date back to the promotion's second show. The 33-year-old has been fighting professionally since 2006 but is currently enjoying one of the best runs of his career at 5-1 in his past six appearances, a run that includes Bellator MMA wins over Ron Keslar, Joe Williams and Jordan Smith.
Rainey, of Gastonia, N.C., fights for the fourth time under the Bellator MMA banner. All three of Rainey's Bellator MMA fights have ended in the first round, as he's bracketed TKO wins over Johnny Cisneros and Andy Murad around a loss to top contender Michael "Venom" Page. Seven of Rainey's 10 career wins have come by finish, including six by knockout.
A five-time Bellator MMA veteran, Taimanglo has quickly established himself as one of Guam's top fighting exports. A scrappy 30-year-old, Taimanglo never fails to entertain. He fought most recently in September, scoring a decision win over Michael Parker.
Fighting professionally since 2006, Duarte hails from Tijuana, Mexico. He makes his Bellator MMA debut on the strength of back-to-back submission wins over Marco Beristain and Ed West. Fifteen of Duarte's 18 career wins come by way of stoppage, including 11 by tapout.
The 24-year-old Parsons, of Fargo, N.D., is a member of California's famed Alliance MMA. Fighting professionally, Parsons has established himself as one of the top prospects in the world after winning 10 of his first 11 professional fights, including three by knockout and two by submission. Parsons made his Bellator MMA debut in April 2014, scoring a knockout win over Tim Bazer just four seconds into the second round.
Brazil's Neves Jr. has compiled an incredible career mark of 30-0 despite being just 20 years old. Competing professionally since 2011, when he was just 17 years old, Neves Jr. already owns a pair of Bellator MMA victories by TKO, as he downed Poppies Martinez in the first round of a September 2014 matchup and finished Josh Arocho in the second round of an April 2014 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 Light Heavyweight Fight: Virgil Zwicker (13-4-1) vs. Razak Al-Hassan (12-4)
- Bellator Featured Welterweight Fight: Fernando Gonzalez (23-13) vs. Curtis Millender (7-1)
Preliminary Card (7 p.m. ET)
- Bellator Welterweight Prelim Fight: Jesse Juarez (22-9) vs. Ricky Rainey (10-3)
- 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)