MMA fighting

Former Bellator champion Rafael Carvalho ‘free in the market’ promises to make history

Rafael Carvalho is hungry to resume his MMA career.

Former Bellator middleweight champion with wins over Melvin Manhoef, Joe Schilling and Alessio Sakara, Carvalho was let go by Bellator after going 0-2 as a light heavyweight. He was called up months later for a short-term clash with Lorenz Larkin at 185 pounds in May 2021 and a shared decision loss marked the end of his run with the company.

“Free in the market,” Carvalho said of his current status and added that he was currently in talks with promotions to decide on his next step.

“I expect to come back in the next few months,” he told MMA Fighting. “My goal for 2022 is to come back well and build a great story in another promotion. What matters most right now is coming back with a victory and leaving my name in history. “

Carvalho, 16-6 in the sport, will continue at middleweight after “not adjusting” to the 205-pound class, he said. His light heavyweight losses under the Bellator banner came at the hands of future champions Vadim Nemkov and Alex Polizzi.

“There is speculation right now, promotions are interested, but nothing is set,” he said. “I am waiting. We will see. I hope something concrete happens in the next few months.

“I have received offers from Russia and here in the United States,” he continued. “But I don’t have a preference. Anyone who calls me and sends me a contact to fight me, I’m on my way.