Promotion officials announced the new addition to the card on Wednesday. Bellator 168 takes place at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy, and is headlined by a light heavyweight tilt between Alessio Sakara and Joey Beltran. The previously scheduled middleweight championship rematch between Rafael Carvalho and Melvin Manhoef was recently scrapped after Carvalho suffered an injury.
Bellator 168 features both MMA and kickboxing bouts. The MMA portion of the card will be televised live on Spike TV in the United States on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. The kickboxing bill, topped by a lightweight bout between Giorgio Petrosyan and Jordan Watson, will air on Spike on Dec. 16 at 11:15 p.m. ET immediately following Bellator 169.
A three-time NCAA national champion and four-time All-American wrestler at Penn State University, Ruth made his Bellator MMA debut on Nov. 4, when he scored a technical knockout victory against Dustin Collins-Miles. Ruth is currently anchored at Dethrone Basecamp in Fresno, Calif., where he trains alongside the likes of Josh Koscheck and Chris Honeycutt.
Palombi, 30, will be making his promotional debut with a 5-2 professional mark. The Rome, Italy native has already fought four times in 2016, winning each of his last three appearances inside of a round.