Bellator 176 results and highlights: Carvalho sleeps Manhoef with head kick

Bellator 176 is in the books as Torino, Italy witnessed Rafael Carvalho retain his middleweight title with an insane fourth round head kick knockout…

By: Eddie Mercado | 6 years ago
Bellator 176 results and highlights: Carvalho sleeps Manhoef with head kick
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Bellator 176 is in the books as Torino, Italy witnessed Rafael Carvalho retain his middleweight title with an insane fourth round head kick knockout of Melvin Manhoef. The main event matchup turned out a lot different their initial fight (snoozefest) at Bellator 155, as Carvalho increased his pressure and proved why he is at the top of Bellator’s 185 division. The night also saw rising star Anastasia Yankova pick up another win in the Bellator cage with a unanimous decision victory of Elina Kallionidou.

Main Card:

Rafael Carvalho def. Melvin Manhoef by KO (Head Kick) at 3:15 of round 4: Middleweight Title

Just as the action started, Manhoef was inadvertently poked in the eye. Carvalho pressed forward behind his jab, and secured a takedown. Manhoef made it up to his feet, but found himself pressed against the cage. Carvalho threw a knee in the clinch, but Manhoef caught the strike, and secured a takedown of his own to finish the round on top.

Carvalho pressured forward to start the second round, as Manhoef uncharacteristically backed up to the cage. Carvalho chipped away with knees to the body of his opponent, as he pressed Manhoef against the fence. Manhoef’s output was rather low, as Carvalho seemed to be finding his stride.

The defending champion continued to work his pressure game, as Manhoef was struggling to deal with the feints of his opponent. Carvalho hit an outside trip, but Manhoef grabbed the fence to prevent the takedown, which resulted in a point deduction. When the action resumed, Manhoef was taken down right away. The fighters made it back to their feet, and finished the round on the feet.

Manhoef struggled to land on the longer Carvalho, especially as he threw one strike at a time. The body shots of Carvalho paid dividends as the champion went high with a kick, and shut out the lights of Manhoef.

Watch Carvalho wreck Manhoef:

This picture says it all:

Check out Melvin Manhoef scoring a savvy takedown on Rafael Carvalho:

Anastasia Yankova def. Elina Kallionidou by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27 x2): Catchweight of 130 pounds

Yankova rushed in with punches right away, to push her opponent up against the cage. Yankova tried to force a head and arm throw, but Kallionidou was able to stay vertical. After a few bull rushes into the cage, Yankova was finally able to put Kallionidou on her back, and finished the round on top.

To start the second frame, Yankova continued with her plan to push her opponent up against the cage. Kallionidou remained game, as she was able to press Yankova against the fence at times. Yankova seemed to land the better strikes, but she was the one with signs of swelling from a Kallionidou spinning backfist.

Kallionidou started the third round with a well-placed left hook. Yankova was was able to eat the strike, and grab a hold of her younger foe, and shove her into the fence. Yankova found a near Guillotine choke, but Kallionidou hung tough, and escaped. Yankova continued to score points by throwing punches and entering the clinch, where Kallionidou had few answers for. Yankova seemed to be too physically imposing for the younger, and lighter, fighter.

***It should be noted that Anastasia Yankova missed weight by 3 pounds.

Watch Anastasia Yankova eat a spinning backfist from Elina Kallionidou:

Valeriu Mircea def. Djamil Chan by Majority Decision (28-28, 29-28x 2): Lightweight

Mircea scored a takedown after ducking under a wide punch from Chan. Top control was the name of the game for the remainder of the first round as Chan was rather inactive from his back.

In an unexpected move, Chan came out in the second stanza and scooped up Mircea, and dumped him on his back. Mircea made it back to his feet, and found top position off of a failed takedown attempt from Chan. Mircea was working from the top, but a headbutt to the chest resulted in a warning, and a standup. Chan would blast a beautiful double leg in the final 10 seconds of the second, but had no time to do anything with it.

To start the third, Chan blasted another double to put Mircea on his back. Chan landed a few solid shots from the top, but nothing too damaging. Mircea managed to make it up to his feet, just to get put right back down from a Chan slam. Chan’s ground and pound was limited, but he did finish the round on top. One of the judges saw it as a draw, but the other 2 saw it for Mircea.

Check out this pretty slam from Djamil Chan:

Mihail Nica def. Samba Coulibaly by Submission (Anaconda) at :36 of round 1: Lightweight

Mihail Nica wasted no time in winning his Bellator debut, as he cinched up an Anaconda Choke on Samba Coulibaly in a brief 36 seconds. Nica caught a takedown from the clinch, and instantly locked up the submission hold. Coulibaly tried his best to defend, but Nica continued to apply the pressure, forcing the tap. Having started his professional MMA career in January of 2016, Nica is now 5-0, and has yet to need a third round.

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About the author
Eddie Mercado
Eddie Mercado

Eddie Mercado is a writer and content creator for Bloody Elbow, and has covered combat sports since 2015. Eddie covers everything from betting odds and live events, to fighter interviews and co-hosting the 6th Round post-fight show and the 6th Round Retro. He retired at 1-0 in professional MMA, competed in one Muay Thai match in Thailand, and is currently a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu under the great Diego Bispo.

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