Bellator MMA’s first event of 2016 just got a little heavier.
Combat Press has learned through sources close to the situation that heavyweights Raphael Butler and Tony Johnson will lock horns on the main card of Bellator 148 on Jan. 29 in Fresno, Calif.
The 32-year-old Butler earned his ninth career win in his last Bellator appearance, submitting Josh Diekmann in just 64 seconds at Bellator 134 last February. A former professional boxer, the Minnesota fighter has finished all of his wins, including eight in the first round. He has gone 4-1-1 in his six appearances inside the Bellator cage.
Johnson, meanwhile, will look to build on the momentum of his decision win over former Bellator champion Alexander Volkov at Bellator 136 last April. The former All-American wrestler at Iowa State also holds wins over UFC veterans Derrick Lewis and Tim Sylvia. One of his two career losses came against current UFC titleholder Daniel Cormier. Now Cormier’s teammate, the American Kickboxing Academy product will be looking for his third straight win.
Bellator 148 will take place Friday, Jan. 29 from the Save Mart Center. The night’s main card, including the Butler-Johnson match-up, will air live on Spike TV. The event will be headlined by British striking stalwart Paul Daley, who meets Andy Uhrich. The co-main event features veteran Paul Bradley, who clashes with Chris Honeycutt.