Keri Melendez makes her MMA debut at Bellator 165
The anticipated mixed martial arts debut of flyweight Keri Melendez will come against Sheila Padilla during the main card of Bellator 165 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California on November 19th.
In addition, a lightweight bout pitting Carrington Banks against Jake Roberts has been added to the Bellator.com-streamed preliminary card.
The bouts join action-packed fights highlighted by a lightweight world title main event featuring Michael Chandler against Benson Henderson. In addition, a welterweight clash between undefeated British striker Michael Page and California’s own Fernando Gonzalez will also be the card’s co-main event. Rounding out the televised action, a lightweight showdown pitting Adam Piccolotti against Brandon Girtz and a light heavyweight matchup pitting Linton Vassell versus Francis Carmont were added earlier this week.
Bellator 165: Chandler vs. Henderson will take place on November 19, airing LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 9 p.m ET/ 8 p.m. CT. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at Bellator.com, as well as SAP Center Box Office and Ticketmaster.
The queen of the infamous Skrap Pack in Northern California, Melendez made her first appearance in a victory during the kickboxing portion of “Bellator: Dynamite 1,” and followed up with another win at “Dynamite 2.” Melendez tallied a 4-1 amateur mark before taking her talents to the professional circuit, where she currently holds a 4-1 kickboxing record. The 32-year-old flyweight will now make the transition to MMA, an iteration of combat sports that her husband, Gilbert Melendez has plenty of success in. Living up to her promise of making her debut in 2016, Melendez will compete on the main card of “Bellator 165: Chandler vs. Henderson” at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. on Nov. 19.
Fighting out of Visalia, Calif., Padilla will enter the Bellator MMA fray following two successful wins on the regional scene, both coming in 2016. Training under Bellator MMA veteran Doug Marshall at Team Elite, this will be Padilla’s opportunity to truly make a name for herself against Melendez, when she competes LIVE on SPIKE.
Just like his opponent, Banks enters the cage undefeated and ready to make another splash in his second fight since joining the Scott Coker-led promotion. The Peoria, Illinois native has finished two of his five victims and dominated all three of his decision victories, earning each by unanimous variety. “Jetsetter” will look to use Roberts as his runway for success as the Blackzilian product hopes to couple his Bellator MMA debut triumph with yet another feat and continue his climb up the lightweight ranks. After competing professionally in Kansas, Texas, and Iowa, the trip to Connecticut will mark Banks’ first on the East Coast. Tune in to Bellator.com’s live-streaming preliminary action to find out if the long journey will have any effect on “Jetsetter” and his performance.
“The North County Nightmare” hasn’t the slightest idea what it’s like to lose, as the 25-year-old enters his eighth professional contest at an admirable 7-0. Having won all five amateur bouts and each of his first four professional fights by way of first round submission, it is Roberts’ ground game that keeps his opponents up at night. However, Roberts’ 2016 campaign has been all about power, after recording back-to-back knockout finishes, highlighted by an emphatic first round knockout in his Bellator MMA debut at “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull.” Roberts hopes to haunt Banks’ dreams when the two clash in the bright lights of SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.
Bellator 165: Chandler vs. Henderson Main Card
Michael Chandler (15-3) vs. Benson Henderson (24-6)
Michael Page (11-0) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (25-13)
Linton Vassell (16-5) vs. Francis Carmont (25-11)
Adam Piccolotti (8-0) vs. Brandon Girtz (14-4)
Keri-Anne Taylor-Melendez (Debut) vs. Sheila Padilla (2-0)
Complete Preliminary Card
Carrington Banks (5-0) vs. Jake Roberts (7-0)
Diego Herzog (3-2) vs. Nick Pica (5-0)
Gabe Carrasco (7-0) vs. Rolando Velasco (10-4)
James Terry (17-9) vs. Justin Baesman (19-10-1)
Jose Perez (2-1) vs. J.T. Donaldson (2-1)
J.J. Okanovich (2-1) vs. Luis Vargas (Debut)
Hugo Lujan (0-1) vs. Cesar Gonzalez (Debut)
Dominic Sumer (Debut) vs. Justin Roswell (1-0)
Danasabe Mohammed (5-0) vs. Dwight Grant (6-1)
Sarah D’Alelio (10-6) vs. Jaimelene Nievera (4-1)