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Bellator Update: Carano, Coenen not signing just yet; Manhoef-Marshall fight announced

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ginacaranobellatorRemember that whole story about Gina Carano and Marloes Coenen signing with Bellator that surfaced last night? Well, for now it was nothing more than your monthly “Gina Carano is returning to MMA,” internet rumor. The type that you can count on to spread like wildfire with minutes. In this case though, where there is smoke there indeed may be some fire.

According to MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani, Bellator President Scott Coker is interested in bringing a women’s division back to the promotion. Coker had plenty of success with WMMA in Strikeforce. After all, it was the promotion that saw fighters like Cris Cyborg, Carano, Ronda Rousey, and Miesha Tate get their first taste of stardom.

Carano’s management team has been contacted by Bellator about joining their roster, and it’s safe to say that Marloes Coenen has as well.

Sources tell us that Coenen is looking to stay at 145 lbs., and according to Helwani’s report that is the division Bellator is looking to go with when they introduce women back to their roster. So while the rumors of Carano-Coenen taking place later this year are a no go for now, it may be something we see in the future. That or Carano’s team could be posturing, i.e., Gilbert Melendez, to get her a better deal from the UFC. Only time will tell.

bellator-125-manhoef-marhsallSo what was the big news that Bellator had to announce today? Well, Melvin Manhoef and Doug Marshall will headline the promotions September 19th card in Fresno, CA. Bellator 125 will feature Manhoef, in his promotional debut, taking on a fighter in “The Rhino” who went on quite the run last year winning Bellator’s Season 8 middleweight tournament.

“This fight is like a dream come true,” Marshall said in a press release. “Two heavy hitters going for broke. It’s a classic don’t blink fight. Bet the house someone is going to sleep before the first round is over. And to be able to have this type of fight in front of all my friends and family that I grew up with makes it that much sweeter.”

In the co-main event of the evening, Bellator veteran and fan favorite Brian Rogers will welcome former WEC heavyweight champion James Irvin to the Bellator middleweight division.

“I’m excited to welcome James Irvin to the Bellator Middleweight division,” Rogers told Bellator.com. “I’ve made my home in this division since 2011 and I plan on staying here for a long time. I know he’s probably planning on coming in here and reestablishing his career, but he isn’t doing that at my expense. I’m the worst person anyone can fight in the middleweight division right now. I want to get the word out to the middleweight division that this is my time. And when it comes to this fight, people better expect an extreme amount of violence.”

Here is your Spike TV main card for Bellator 125 ‘Manhoef vs. Marshall’:

• Middleweight Headliner: Doug Marshall (18-7) vs. Melvin Manhoef (28-11-1)

• Middleweight Bout: Brian Rogers (11-6) vs. James Irvin (17-10)

• Featherweight Bout: Martin Stapleton (13-3) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (17-2)

• Heavyweight Bout: Raphael Butler (8-0-1) vs. Javy Ayala (7-3)

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