This Saturday, April 8 is a big day for Bellator as they present both Bellator 176 and Bellator Kickboxing 5 from Torino, Italy. Bellator Kickboxing will air on Spike TV at approximately 5:00 p.m. ET following Bellator 176. The kickboxing card is headlined by the one time pound for pound king – here’s a look at the complete card for Bellator Kickboxing 5:
Giorgio Petrosyan (83-2-2) vs. Amansio Paraschiv (23-5-1) – The main event here is a showcase bout for The Doctor, Giorgio Petrosyan. For years, Petrosyan was the #1 fighter in the world, an unbeatable clinician capable of dissecting opponents with apparent ease. Then, he lost in 2013, sat out for a year, and saw much of that momentum disappear. He’s a perfect 8-0 since his return, and he’s looked great, including an excellent performance on the last Bellator Kickboxing show against Jordan Watson, but he has not generally been in there against opponents who truly demonstrate his abilities. This is another of those fights – Paraschiv is a decent opponent who holds a world title in Superkombat, but he is unlikely to be on Petrosyan’s level.
Denise Kielholtz (46-3) vs. Martine Michieletto (34-12-5) – Kielholtz is Bellator’s Flyweight champion and makes her first defense here. She’s a skilled Dutch fighter, showing off the kind of solid fundamentals you expect from anyone fighting out of the famed Vos Gym. Her opponent is an Italian Muay Thai fighter and ISKA champion. Michieletto can make it a fight, but I like Kielholtz here.
Nando Calzetta (45-9) vs. John Wayne Parr (95-32) – For hardcore fans, the Bellator debut of The Gunslinger may be the highlight of the card. John Wayne Parr is a decorated veteran of the international Muay Thai scene. The Aussie fighter is a 20 year pro who has been in there with everyone from Buakaw to Duane Ludwig to Yodsaenklai… and the list goes on. At 41 years old, he doesn’t have much time left in him (he in fact announced his retirement a few years ago – it lasted 7 months), but this is a big opportunity for him to get some well-earned and well-deserved recognition for US audiences. An MMA fan, Parr has talked about trying his hand there for some time – a big win here could keep that option alive for Bellator.
Mustapha Haida (45-5-2) vs. Enriko Kehl (45-11-1) – Excellent, easy to overlook fight here between two solid fighters. Kehl is the 2014 K-1 MAX GP champion, winning that title under strange circumstances when Buakaw walked out on the fight. He’s a real road warrior type fighter, with good experience all over the world, and at only 25, he remains a fighter to watch as he grows. Haida is a Moroccan fighter who has competed in Glory and Kunlun among others. He has a 1-1 record in Bellator Kickboxing, and his biggest win was a 2014 defeat of the legend Andy Souwer. He’s an excellent match-up for Kehl – this is your sleeper fight of the night.
Gaston Bolanos (8-1) vs. Luca D’Isanto (36-13-4) – The card opens with two fighters looking to make a name for themselves. Bolanos scored an MMA win in Bellator earlier this year but he’s best known for his impressive work in the Muay Thai Lion Fight organization. He’s got some great, flashy techniques, unfortunately one of his best weapons is the spinning elbow, which is not legal under this rule set. There’s not a lot of info on D’Isanto – an Italian fighter with Muay Thai experience. He has a lot of fights in his record, but kickboxing records need to be taken with at least a few grains of salt. Look for Bolanos to keep on the rise here.
Join us this Saturday, April 8 for coverage of Bellator Kickboxing 5 as it airs on Spike. The Kickboxing portion of the double-header will air at approximately 5:00 p.m. ET at the conclusion of Bellator 176. Note that in Italy, the Kickboxing show takes place before the MMA show, so it will be on a slight tape delay for US fans – we will keep things spoiler-free for those looking to watch on Spike.