Ex-Bellator champ Rafael Carvalho โ€˜free in the market,โ€™ vows to make history

    Rafael Carvalho is hungry to resume his MMA career.

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

    โ€œFree in the market,โ€ Carvalho said of his current status and added heโ€™s currently in talks with promotions to decide his next step.

    โ€œIโ€™m expecting to come back in the next few months,โ€ he told MMA Fighting. โ€œMy goal for 2022 is to come back well and build a nice story in another promotion. What matters the most right now is coming back with a victory and leaving my name in history.โ€

    Carvalho, 16-6 in the sport, will continue at middleweight after โ€œnot adaptingโ€ to the 205-pound class, he said. His light heavyweight losses under the Bellator banner came by the hands of future champion Vadim Nemkov and Alex Polizzi.

    โ€œThere are speculations right now, promotions are interested, but nothing is set,โ€ he said. โ€œIโ€™m waiting. Weโ€™ll see. Iโ€™m hoping something concrete will happen in the next months.โ€

    โ€œIโ€™ve had offers from Russia and here in the United States,โ€ he continued. โ€œBut I have no preference. Whoever calls and sends me a contact to fight, Iโ€™m on my way.โ€

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