Aaron ‘The Joker’ Chalmers (3-0-0) has answered the Bellator call up and is set to clash Ashley Griffiths (4-6-0) in a 163-Pound catchweight clash. The bout completes the main card and of the historic Bellator 200 event set to take place at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London on Friday, May 25. Chalmers has gone from being BAMMA’s highest paid and most visible fighter to Bellator in record time. It’s unclear if the deal is a one and done but knowing Chalmers and his ambition to continually push himself it’s difficult to see how he settles back into the BAMMA stable. He seemed pretty much at home seated in Michael Venom Page’s unoccupied seats next to Scott Coker last weekend.
Chalmers has his fair share of supporters, he’s likeable and in conversation sure of himself but humble. He also has his legions of haters who are seemingly hanging on his every movement in the cage expecting a slip up soon. Chalmers seems to take all of this in his stride seemingly anticipating what people are bound to say. His latest opponent last seen in action when he was stopped via KO/TKO on the Bellator 191 card in Newcastle by Mohammad Yahya. Chalmers is keen on the match up as he explains, “Ashley is definitely a step up,” as he continues, “But will it silence the critics, no it probably won’t.”
“Everyone wants to see me fight world champions and people with 10 fight win streaks. I’m just taking this opportunity with both hands and I’m going to put on another crazy performance.”
Given his size and looking at the Bellator roster if it is indeed his plan to make it his home it’s a wise move to shift weight classes. Also new to his preparations is the addition of a new overseas fight camp as he’s keen to explain. “I’m training between UTC in Birmingham and American Top Team in the states. I want to get my wrestling to a high level so hopefully this will help me.”
On previous occasions we have spoken about his title aspirations and ways in which he can advance forward towards lifting a prestigious belt in a large organisation. Chalmers is keen to remind me of our previous conversations on the very same subject as he says, ” I’ve said it from day one show me the cheques.” Continuing he said, “The money I’m being paid no one would turn it down. Maybe in the future belts will feature, but at the moment I’m still learning and still fighting and now doing it on one of the biggest stage’s in the world of MMA.”
All opponents so far in Chalmers career have described him as someone they will run through because of his novice status and based on the performance they would have seen thus far. Almost in anticipation Chalmers is keen to get ahead of the rhetoric that will inevitably come. “Ashley can think what ever he wants,” he said. “Ashley is going to be facing a more well rounded fighter.” ‘The Joker’ continues, “One thing is for certain if he couldn’t handle Mohammad Yahya’s punches Ash Griffith will be going to sleep when mine connect to his chin. My nickname ‘The Joker’ was because everyone was saying I’m a joke, now they are gonna have to call me the million dollar man and Ashley Griffiths will still be asleep on the floor while I’m counting my fee in the back.”
Tickets for the event are on sale now at The SSE Arena, Wembley Box Office (0844 815 0815), Ticketmaster.com, ssearena.co.uk and axs.com. Bellator 200 will be broadcast on Paramount Network at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and globally on the Bellator Mobile App. The main card is now complete, additional preliminary contests will be announced in coming weeks.
Complete Bellator 200 Main Card:
Middleweight World Title Bout: Rafael Carvalho (15-1) vs. Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2)
Heavyweight Main Card Bout: Mirko Cro Cop (36-11-2, 1 NC) vs. Roy Nelson (23-15)
Light Heavyweight Main Card Bout: Phil Davis (18-4) vs. Linton Vassell (18-6)
Welterweight Main Card Bout: Michael Page (12-0) vs. David Rickels (19-4, 2 NC)
163-Pound Catchweight Main Card Bout: Aaron Chalmers (3-0) vs. Ash Griffiths (4-5)