One of the “Big 5” of Team Fedor will make his highly-anticipated debut at Bellator 181 when 25-year-old Valentin Moldavsky takes on the streaking Javy “Eye Candy” Ayala.
Valentin Moldavsky vs. Javy Ayala
Ukranian-born Moldavsky (6-1) currently fights out of Stary Oskol, Russia, training with the likes of Anatoly Tokov, Viktor Nemkov, Kirill Sidelnikov, and, of course, Fedor Emelianenko. The high-level judoka started off his career with a perfect record of 6-0, half of those wins coming under the RIZIN banner. He faced defeat for the first time when he lost a very close split decision to Iranian powerhouse Amir Aliakbari in RIZIN’s 2016 tournament semi-final last December.
Ayala (10-5) will enter the cage for the first time in 2017 after coming off of a successful 2016 which saw him go 2-0 inside the Bellator MMA cage. He scored a first round TKO win over Roy Boughton following two consecutive losses. In November of last year, he shocked the world when he needed just 16-seconds to KO Russian legend Sergei Kharitonov in easily the biggest win of his career.
Also announced for the card; UFC, TUF veteran Justin Lawrence will take on Treston Thomison.
Bellator 181 is scheduled to take place on July 14 live from the WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, OK. The main event will feature a lightweight rematch between Patricky “Pitbull” Freire and Derek Campos. The co-main event will see the debut of former UFC title challenger, Canada’s own Valérie Létourneau as she takes on Emily Ducote.
Rounding out the main card is a bantamweight bout between former champion Joe Warren and Steve Garcia Jr., as well as an important middleweight feature between Kendall Grove and John Salter.