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Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef 2 headlines Bellator 168

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Rafael Carvalho defended the Bellator middleweight championship in one of the most controversial decisions of the year against Melvin Manhoef in May, and the promotion will give "No Mercy" an immediate rematch.

Bellator officially announced on Friday that Carvalho and Manhoef will headline the Bellator 168 card in Florence, Italy, on Dec. 10. In the co-main event, Alessio Sakara takes on Joey Beltran. Bellator hasn’t revealed broadcast details for the event.

Carvalho (13-1) became the Bellator 185-pound champ in October 2015, knocking out Brandon Halsey in the second round to win the vacant belt. The Brazilian returned to action seven months later, and scored a split decision win over Manhoef in Boise, Idaho.

Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC), who fought all over the world for more than two decades, earned a shot at the middleweight belt after stopping Hisaki Kato in impressive fashion at Bellator 146.

Bellator 168 takes place at the Mandela Forum in Florence, and will also feature bouts under the Bellator Kickboxing brand.

Giorgio Petrosyan (82-2-2, 1 NC) is set to take on Jordan Watson (48-11-2) under kickboxing rules. The promotion also officially announced a rematch between Denise Kielholtz (45-3) and Gloria Peritore (11-1-1) for the inaugural Bellator kickboxing flyweight title.

Bellator announced that Raymond Daniels, Kevin Ross and Joe Schilling are also scheduled to compete, but their opponents will be announced later.

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