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Top-10 featherweights added to Bellator Dublin when Mads Burnell faces Pedro Carvalho

Bellator Dublin on Sept. 23 at 3Arena also sees three additional all-European matchups added to prelims.
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LOS ANGELES — Bellator MMA today announced the inclusion of four additional fights to the talent-stacked "Bellator Dublin: Henderson vs. Queally" event slated to take place on Friday, Sept. 23 from 3Arena in Ireland.

The event airs live in the U.S. on Showtime beginning at 4 p.m. ET, while the preliminary card airs live on the Bellator MMA YouTube channel, Showtime Sports YouTube channel, and Pluto TV beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. 

Tickets for Bellator Dublin: Henderson vs. Queally are now on sale and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.ie and Bellator.com.

The main card will now also feature a top-ten featherweight tilt as No. 4-ranked Mads Burnell (16-4 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) of Denmark takes on No. 6-ranked contender Pedro "The Game" Carvalho (12-6 MMA, 5-3 BMMA) of Ireland in a high-stakes, fan-friendly affair.

Joining the preliminary portion of the card are three matchups, including a lightweight bout between unbeaten Irish prospect Darragh "Moville Mauler" Kelly (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) and England’s Kye Stevens (3-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), a featherweight matchup between undefeated Irishman ​​Kenny "Black Diamond" Mokhonoana (3-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and Slovakia's Alex Bodnar (3-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), and a second 145-pound clash between French standout Asael "The Sultan" Adjoudj (3-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) and Poland's Adam Gustab (6-5 MMA, 0-2 BMMA).

Ranked third in arguably Bellator's deepest division, Burnell, 28, has established himself as one of the most talented contenders at featherweight since signing in 2020. The former Cage Warriors champion rattled off three straight wins over Darko Banovic, Saul Rogers and Emmanuel Sanchez before being narrowly outpointed by Adam Borics in a highly technical contest earlier this year. A dominant grappler, Burnell will look to return to the win column against Carvalho as he looks to solidify his status as a top title contender for Patricio Pitbull's crown.

No. 6-ranked featherweight contender Carvalho, 26, will relish the opportunity to fight in his adopted home of Dublin. The SBG Ireland product is a potent submission threat, notching half of his professional victories by way of submission. Carvalho sees in a matchup with Burnell an opportunity to turn his recent fortunes around and crack the elusive featherweight top-five in front of a raucous hometown crowd on Sept. 23.

Kelly, 24, joined the Bellator roster earlier this year on the strength of one of the most impressive amateur records in recent memory. The undefeated Irishman has an impeccable 100 percent finishing rate, and the SBG Ireland product will look to extend his finish and win streaks against Stevens in front of what promises to be a hugely favorable Dublin audience.

Stevens, 23, will look to silence the Dublin crowd by handing Kelly his first career defeat on Sept. 23. The Englishman brings with him a strong 3-1 record into his Bellator debut, and he has developed a reputation on the U.K. regional scene for putting on exciting, fan-friendly fights.

Another unbeaten Irish prospect, Mokhonoana, will make his Bellator debut at Bellator 285. The 25-year-old has a 100 percent finishing rate since turning professional in 2021, with all three of his victories coming by way of submission. "Black Diamond" will look to continue his winning ways in what promises to be a thrilling Bellator debut.

Looking to spoil Mokhonoana's promotional debut is Slovakian-Englishman Bodnar, 28. Representing GYM 01 in Portsmouth, England, Bodnar enters the Bellator cage for the first time with a 4-1 record. He sports a 50 percent finish rate replete with both a submission and a knockout win.

One half of the final addition to the Bellator 285 preliminary card is French featherweight standout Adjoudj, 23. The SBG Ireland product has the length, at 6 feet tall, to be a problem at 145 pounds, and he has notched three wins since a contentious split-decision loss in his professional debut in 2020.

Gustab, 32, will enter the Bellator cage for the third time in his career on September 23 in search of his first win under the promotion’s banner. Like his opponent Adjoudj, Gustab has won back-to-back fights. The Polish fighter, who fights out of Belfast, Ireland, will look to keep his success going at Bellator 285.

With the addition, the Bellator Dublin lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (Showtime, 4 p.m. ET)

  • Benson Henderson vs. Peter Queally
  • Melvin Manhoef vs. Yoel Romero
  • James Gallagher vs. Brett Johns
  • Mads Burnell vs. Pedro Carvalho

PRELIMINARY CARD (YouTube, 12:30 p.m. ET)

  • Ciaran Clarke vs. Georges Sasu
  • Arivaldo Lima da Silva vs. Brian Moore
  • Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Kane Mousah
  • Darragh Kelly vs. Kye Stevens
  • Alex Bodnar vs. Kenny Mokhonoana
  • Asael Adjoudj vs. Adam Gustab