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The Queen of the Skrap Pack Makes Her Highly Anticipated MMA Debut

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Eric Kowal

Eric Kowal

Owner/Editor/Journalist at MyMMANews
Founder of - After writing for Ultimate MMA magazine and serving as the editor for U.S. Combat Sports, both of which went on hiatus, I decided to venture out on my own and enlist a staff of writers and photographers that could help me achieve my goal of telling stories that would otherwise go untold. We pride ourselves in taking a deeper look into the fighter, and understanding what makes them click. - #1 Dad, Marine Corps Veteran, 80's and 90's Pro Wrestling Fan, MMA Commentator, Beer Lover, and avid movie watcher. Seriously..... I watch a lot of movies.



The Queen of the Skrap Pack Makes Her Highly Anticipated MMA Debut - Keri Melendez

The anticipated mixed martial arts debut of flyweight Keri Melendez will come against Sheila Padilla (2-0) during the main card of “Bellator 165: Chandler vs. Henderson” at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. on Nov. 19.

In addition, a lightweight bout pitting Carrington Banks (5-0) against Jake Roberts (7-0) has been added to the preliminary card.

The bouts join action-packed fights highlighted by a lightweight world title main event featuring Michael Chandler (15-3) against Benson Henderson (24-6). In addition, a welterweight clash between undefeated British striker Michael “Venom” Page (11-0) and California’s own Fernando Gonzalez (25-13) will also be the card’s co-main event. Rounding out the televised action, a lightweight showdown pitting Adam Piccolotti (8-0) against Brandon Girtz (14-4) and a light heavyweight matchup pitting Linton “The Swarm” Vassell (16-5) versus Francis Carmont (14-4) were added earlier this week.

“Bellator 165: Chandler vs. Henderson” will take place on November 19, airing LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 9 p.m ET/ 8 p.m. CT. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at, as well as SAP Center Box Office and Ticketmaster.

The queen of the infamous Skrap Pack in Northern California, Melendez made her first appearance in a victory during the kickboxing portion of “Bellator: Dynamite 1,” and followed up with another win at “Dynamite 2.” Melendez tallied a 4-1 amateur mark before taking her talents to the professional circuit, where she currently holds a 4-1 kickboxing record. The 32-year-old flyweight will now make the transition to MMA, an iteration of combat sports that her husband, Gilbert Melendez has plenty of success in. Living up to her promise of making her debut in 2016, Melendez will compete on the main card of “Bellator 165: Chandler vs. Henderson” at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. on Nov. 19.

KeriMelendez on Twitter

Under 5 weeks out! I’ll be making my MMA debut Nov 19th in San Jose. #skrappack #elnino #graciefighter #woodenmanmt

Fighting out of Visalia, Calif., Padilla will enter the Bellator MMA fray following two successful wins on the regional scene, both coming in 2016. Training under Bellator MMA veteran Doug Marshall at Team Elite, this will be Padilla’s opportunity to truly make a name for herself against Melendez, when she competes LIVE on SPIKE.

Just like his opponent, Banks enters the cage undefeated and ready to make another splash in his second fight since joining the Scott Coker-led promotion. The Peoria, Illinois native has finished two of his five victims and dominated all three of his decision victories, earning each by unanimous variety. “Jetsetter” will look to use Roberts as his runway for success as the Blackzilian product hopes to couple his Bellator MMA debut triumph with yet another feat and continue his climb up the lightweight ranks. After competing professionally in Kansas, Texas, and Iowa, the trip to Connecticut will mark Banks’ first on the East Coast. Tune in to’s live-streaming preliminary action to find out if the long journey will have any effect on “Jetsetter” and his performance.

“The North County Nightmare” hasn’t the slightest idea what it’s like to lose, as the 25-year-old enters his eighth professional contest at an admirable 7-0. Having won all five amateur bouts and each of his first four professional fights by way of first round submission, it is Roberts’ ground game that keeps his opponents up at night. However, Roberts’ 2016 campaign has been all about power, after recording back-to-back knockout finishes, highlighted by an emphatic first round knockout in his Bellator MMA debut at “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull.” Roberts hopes to haunt Banks’ dreams when the two clash in the bright lights of SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

Complete “Bellator 165: Chandler vs. Henderson” Main Card:
Lightweight World Title Main Event: Michael Chandler (15-3) vs. Benson Henderson (24-6)
Welterweight Co-Main Event: Michael Page (11-0) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (25-13)
Light Heavyweight Feature Bout: Linton Vassell (16-5) vs. Francis Carmont (25-11)
Lightweight Feature Bout: Adam Piccolotti (8-0) vs. Brandon Girtz (14-4)
Flyweight Feature Bout: Keri-Anne Taylor-Melendez (Debut) vs. Sheila Padilla (2-0)

Complete Preliminary Card:
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Carrington Banks (5-0) vs. Jake Roberts (7-0)
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Diego Herzog (3-2) vs. Nick Pica (5-0)
Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Gabe Carrasco (7-0) vs. Rolando Velasco (10-4)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: James Terry (17-9) vs. Justin Baesman (19-10-1)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Jose Perez (2-1) vs. J.T. Donaldson (2-1)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: J.J. Okanovich (2-1) vs. Luis Vargas (Debut)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Hugo Lujan (0-1) vs. Cesar Gonzalez (Debut)
Welterweight “VOW” Preliminary Bout: Dominic Sumer (Debut) vs. Justin Roswell (1-0)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Danasabe Mohammed (5-0) vs. Dwight Grant (6-1)
Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Sarah D’Alelio (10-6) vs. Jaimelene Nievera (4-1)