The first 151 Bellator events have taken place in America and occasionally Canada. In April 2016, they took it on the road around the world. In July 2016, Bellator 158 made it’s UK debut in the o2 arena and got a crowd of over 12,000, so it’s no surprise, they’re coming back again, only this time it will take place in Wembley arena. Here is the prelims breakdown:
(Bantamweight) Salih Kulucan vs Diego Barbosa: We start of the night with a bantamweight bout, both men are making their Bellator debuts aswell as Barbosa is making his bantamweight debut as he’s usually a featherweight. With a record of 2 – 1 – 0 both wins coming from KO, starting as a pro in 2011 and picking up a loss, he went to compete as an amateur and got a record of 1 – 1 – 0 and again the victory coming from KO. His opponent Kulucan is the more experienced of the 2 with 10 fights under his belt and a record that stands at 4 – 5 – 0 (1); the former UCMMA alumni has the better ground game, but it’s all to play for.
(Middleweight) Marcin Prostko vs Mike Shipman: Next, we have a debuting Prostko going up against one of the hottest fighters in the British MMA scene right now. It’s not a easy task for Prostko, he is currently on a 3 fight loss streak while Shipman is on a very impressive 9 fight win streak. Another former UCMMA alumni, Mike Shipman is on a record that stands at 9 – 1 – 0, if things couldn’t be any worse for his opponent, he can beat you standing up or on the ground. Both men need a win, if Prostko wins he’ll end a streak, either his streak or Shipman’s. Alternatively, if Shipman wins, Bellator will start to recognise him as potential champion someday. The last time Shipman fought was on Bellator’s London card last year, this guy is clearly better than that.
(Catchweight) (150lbs) Jeremy Petley vs Chase Morton: Canada vs England next, well kind of. Chase Morton may have been born Canada, but he is no stranger to the British audience, a BAMMA veteran, he holds a record of 10 – 8 – 0 and is an all rounder, sadly in his last 4 fights, he has come up short, not securing a win since 2013, he’ll want to end that here and get back to winning ways. His opponent Chase Morton, who is the less experienced has a great stand up game. With a 6 – 3 – 0 record with 5 wins coming from KO and 4 of them in the first round. If it goes to the ground, the fight is all Petley’s, if it stays standing, Morton could become the fifth man to beat Petley.
(Middleweight) Fabian Edwards vs Rafal Cejrowski: Orignally Fabian Edwards, brother of the UFC’s Leon Edwards, was meant to make his professional debut at BAMMA 29 but his fight was scrapped. Still under contract with BAMMA, under a 1 fight deal with Bellator, he was added at the last minute. A promising fighter, Edwards is on a 4 – 0 – 0 amateur record with all 4 wins coming from KO all in the first round; there’s a reason he’s called the assassin. He has a tough challenge ahead of him in his opponent, fellow British fighter Cejrowski, is no stranger to winning, also an amateur record 4 – 0 – 0 and pro record of 2 – 0 – 0. This could well be a fight of the night candidate.
(Welterweight) Umer Kayani vs Nathan Jones: Another Englishman vs Englishman fight. 2 submission specialists, Kayani has a record of 4 – 3 – 0 and is currently on a 4 fight win streak. Jones is 10 – 5 – 0 with 8 of his wins coming from submission. This will be a masterclass on the ground, both men are big fans of various chokes and going for them early. I doubt this fight will go past the second round. We could see a submission of the night been given in this one.
(Flyweight) Jamie Powell vs Amir Albazi: One of the more interesting fights on the prelims, both men looking to make an impression on their Bellator debut. Jamie Powell is on 6 – 1 – 0 record with last fight been a rear naked choke loss at the hands or should I say grip of Daniel Barez last December; before that however he was on an undefeated streak of 6 – 0. Amir Albazi is a man who looks for a finish. Currently 9 – 0 – 0, he has never had a fight go into the 3rd round, known more so for been a bantamweight, he is a dangerous man. If Powell wants to come out with the W, he’ll need to keep it on the ground and exhaust his opponent.
(Heavyweight) Stav Economou vs Dan Konecke: Another interesting heavyweight bout. Economou was originally meant to face Karl Etherington but the fight was scrapped and now he will face Konecke. Economou holds victories over Bob Sapp, Linton Vassell and former UFC heavyweight champion Rico Rodriguez, with a record 16 – 4 – 0, he is more of a knockout artist, although the last few years he has become more prominent for submissions. His opponent, Konecke, is also a knockout artist with a record that stands at 7 – 9 – 1, he is coming off a win only 2 weeks ago. Economou will have more preparation in what I’m dubbing ‘The Battle of the North’. You heard it here first.
(Lightweight) Jay Dods vs Alfie Davis: Either this fight or the last fight will be the main event of the prelims. England vs England. Jay Dods, better known as the prodigy is currently 6 – 0 – 0 and well known for his KO power. His opponent Alfie Davis, is 7 – 1 – 0 and is known for a good stand up game aswell as ground game, currently on 5 fight win streak and fresh off a victory over Martin Hudson, only a few weeks ago. A pretty even match-up.