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With Costello van Steenis out, Rafael Carvalho steps in to face Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 258

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Rafael Carvalho is set to return to the Bellator cage on less than a week’s notice.

The promotion announced Saturday that the former Bellator middleweight champion will face Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 258. The event takes place this Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. and will air on Showtime. Carvalho steps in for Costello van Steenis, who was forced to withdraw from his scheduled matchup with Larkin.

Carvalho, who parted ways with the promotion in October, returns to action in hopes of getting back to his championship form. The 34-year-old has last four of his last five fights, including dropping the middleweight title to Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 200 in May 2018.

After dropping his first two promotional appearances to Douglas Lima and Paul Daley, Larkin has won his last four fights. “Da Monsoon,” who signed as a free agent after going 4-1 over his final five UFC bouts, will make his first appearance since December 2019 - and first at middleweight when he picked up a dominant decision win over Keita Nakamura at Bellator 237 in Japan.

Bellator 258 will be headlined by a bantamweight title fight between Juan Archuleta and Sergio Pettis.

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