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Bellator 145: Vengeance - Undercard Preview

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

Bellator MMA returns to the Scottrade Center next month and the anticipated local prelims are now firmly in place.

There are new names and some who are familiar to the experience as Bellator 145 marks the second time the organization has come to St. Louis this year.

Already announced was the marquee match-up between Chris Heatherly and Vincent Eazelle.

Heatherly is one of the most decorated fighters to ever come out of St. Louis. "Stump" cleaned out the local scene and has fought in the UFC and RFA before making his Bellator debut in June at Bellator 138 against Garrett Gross. Heatherly's tried and true wrestling was too much for Gross over three rounds as he earned a decision victory to improve to 9-3.

Eazelle, out of Springfield, IL, had won eight straight before losing in the first round to Desmond Green in July on a Titan FC card. Eazelle is 9-2 and has finished seven of his opponents.

Hugh Pulley returns after one of the most impressive performances of the year. At the June Bellator, Pulley (out of Modern Combat Systems) won a split decision over local stalwart Eric Irvin to improve to 5-2. Pulley, considered one the area's true blue chip talents, has finishes in all but one of his victories.

Pulley faces Steven Mann, a transplant from Iowa, who lost via submission to Justin Guthrie at Bellator 138. Mann returned to Iowa in August and picked up a win to improve to 11-2. Known as a decorated striker, Mann has eight wins via submission.

Two of St. Louis' top-of-the-food-chain welterweights and both with well-rounded games meet when Adam Meredith takes on Jordan Dowdy.

Meredith, out of St. Charles MMA, knocked off previously unbeaten Manuel Meraz in September with an armbar to improve to 4-1. Dowdy, who trains at CMMA in Granite City, stands at 2-0 after his first-round TKO of Michael Gatson at Shamrock FC: Fuel on Sept. 11.

Dynamic striker Luke Nelson faces Garrett Gross. Gross, who trains out of American Top Team in Florida, is an Illinois native who lost to Heatherly at Bellator 138. Gross, who has a good combination of wrestling and boxing, is 6-4 while Nelson stands at 2-1. Nelson hasn't fought in MMA in over a year but is coming off a kickboxing victory this summer over Jason Slattery.

Kevin Engel has been out of MMA action for little over a year. Engel is one of the most decorated boxers in the St. Louis area with 34 pro fights and is 4-0 inside the cage. He will knock the rust off when he faces Kyle Kurtz. Kurtz tapped out Adam Cella at Bellator 138 but lost to top-flight prospect Joaquin Buckley in September. Kurtz will face his third member from Finney's MMA this year in Engel. Kurtz is 4-1 with all five fights coming in 2015. A win over Engel will solidify what has already been a breakout year for the recent addition to Modern Combat Systems.

Other local fighters on the card include:

Kain Royer (1-2) vs. Clay Mitchell (1-0), Adam Cella (6-4) vs. Chel Erwin-Davis (2-1), and Garrett Mueller (2-0) vs. Scott Ettling (3-0).

Top billing at the November 6 event features two world title bouts when Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (24-2) defends his strap against Daniel Straus (23-6) and Will "Ill Will" Brooks (16-1) meets submission specialist Marcin Held (21-3) with the 155-pound belt on the line. Bellator 145: Vengeance on Spike will also feature a rematch pitting "Iron" Michael Chandler (13-3) against David "The Caveman" Rickels (16-3, 1 NC).

Tickets for Bellator 145: Vengeance, which start at just $30, are on sale now on and at the Ford Box Office at Scottrade Center. Doors for the event open at 5:00 p.m. CT local time, and the first contest takes place shortly after.

Bellator 145: Vengeance airs live on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream on at 7 p.m. ET.

Full card: (Subject to change)

Featherweight Title:
Patricio Freire (24-2) vs Daniel Straus (23-6)

Lightweight Title:
Will Brooks (16-1) vs Marcin Held (21-3)

Pat Curran (21-7) vs Justin Lawrence (7-2)
Michael Chandler (13-3) vs David Rickels (16-3, 1 NC)
Bobby Lashley (13-2) vs James Thompson (20-14, 1 NC)

Alex Huddleston (6-1) vs Augusto Sakai (8-0)
Chris Heatherly (9-3) vs Vince Eazelle (9-2)
Garrett Mueller (2-0) vs Scott Ettling (3-0)
Kain Royer (1-2) vs Clay Mitchell (1-0)
Adam Cella (6-4) vs Chel Erwin-Davis (2-1)
Steve Mann (11-2) vs Hugh Pulley (5-2)
Kevin Engel (4-0) vs Kyle Kurtz (4-1)
Garrett Gross (6-4) vs Luke Nelson (2-1)
Adam Meredith (4-1) vs Jordan Dowdy (2-0)
Brandon Lowe (0-0) vs Rashad Lovelace (1-0)

Bellator 145: Vengeance
Friday, November 6th
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO