Things are most certainly on the up for long suffering UK Bellator fans. With the recent announcement regarding European event coverage on C5 plus the massive news that US events will be screened live on Sky Sports, including MVP v Daley, what better way to start preceding’s by showcasing a stacked card that kicks off the European Series.
Taking place at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle upon Tyne, Bellator arrive in town with a wealth of UK talent on show including some big grudge matches, intriguing match ups and returning stalwarts of the UK and world MMA scene.
After the closing drama of the weigh-ins yesterday morning in which Lee Chadwick missed weight and Dominque Wooding lost his fight due to Bailey Gilbert pulling out, the business end of proceedings is nearly upon us. With the prelims kicking off at 5pm (live on the Bellator website and app) and the main card being screened live and exclusively in the UK at 10pm on C5, we take a look at the fights that make up this evenings main card.
Patricky Pitbull (20-8) vs Ryan Scope (11-1) Lightweight
What else is there to say about Patricky Pitbull? Making his Bellator debut back in 2011, the elder of the Pitbull brothers has amassed a 20-fight career within the promotion that equates to 13-7 under the Bellator umbrella. In his near 8-year stint, Pitbull has faced the likes of Michael Chandler, on two occasions, Eddie Alvarez, Benson Henderson, Marcin Held and Josh Thomson. To say that Pitbull is highly experienced in the art of fighting would be a massive understatement. Coming into the fight on a 4-fight win streak, Pitbull will square up against local favourite, Ryan Scope.
Scope comes into the fight with just the one blemish on his near perfect record. That blemish being a first round defeat to Lew Long, who himself was scheduled to be on this evenings card against Jimmy Wallhead, in 2017. Making his Bellator debut, it doesn’t really get much bigger in terms of an experienced opponent when he enters the ring tonight. Scope was last in action at the same venue as tonight’s card when he fought UFC veteran Mickael Lebout on a dual BAMMA/Bellator card in December 2017.
Although he will no doubt be backed by an army of fans, Scope could very well be in for a tough evening in the ring. Victory over Pitbull would increase his growing stock but equally defeat would be no disaster for Scope.
Aaron Chalmers (4-0) vs Corey Browning (4-2) Lightweight
The man that many love to hate makes his way into the ring for his fifth professional fight this evening. Taking on unknown American, Corey Browning, many would expect that Aaron Chalmers will be leaving the ring with a 5-0 record. With just 320 seconds of fight time under his belt, Chalmers is expected to make like work of Browning, who looked bewildered and like a fish out of water at yesterdays weigh-ins. As we all know, MMA is a very unpredictable sport but I wouldn’t bet big on an upset here.
Browning saw off Baby Slice in his last fight and has also notched up submission and KO wins in his 6 fight career although facing Chalmers in his own backyard will be a completely different experience for Browning. Many will already see this as an easy Chalmers victory, and who could argue, but who knows with this sport.
Fabian Edwards (5-0) vs Lee Chadwick (24-13-1) Middleweight
This fight has war written all over it although Edwards has proclaimed that it will be nothing but a first round KO. After the drama of missing weight yesterday morning, which has just added fuel to the fire for Edwards, Chadwick had a big grin on his face when he squared up to Edwards at the ceremonial weigh-ins. You have to admire the confidence and shear belief of Edwards but in Lee Chadwick, he is coming up against a battle tested fighter and one that will be willing to stand and trade.
Making a return to Bellator for his sixth fight, Edwards announced himself on the professional scene with a viral flying-knee KO of Rafal Cejrowski on his pro debut. Since then, Edwards has only gone into the second round on one occasion when he beat Aaron Kennedy in his second pro fight. Since then, Edwards has gone on from strength to strength but in Chadwick, will face what will be his sternest test to date.
With 38 professional fights under his belt, Lee Chadwick is keen to teach Edwards a lesson when the pair square up tonight. Whether he will or not remains to be seen but I would advise against missing this one.
Terry Brazier (10-1) vs Chris Bungard (13-4) Lightweight
In what is the third lightweight fight of the main card, Terry Brazier and Chris Bungard will also be bringing the venom to the Utilita Arena this evening. In a tense face-off at the ceremonial weigh-in, there is clearly no love lost between these two experienced fighters.
Coming into the fight with just one defeat to his name, Brazier makes his Bellator bow with victories over Rhys McKee, Alex Lohoré and Walter Ghadza in his last three fights. Although he has 13 wins to his name, Bungard makes his Bellator debut with his experience coming through the likes of ACB, Headhunters FC and Forza Fighting Championship. Like the Edwards vs Chadwick fight, this one has all the makings of a classic.
Full card for Bellator Newcastle:
Main Card 10pm (Live on Channel 5)
Patricky Pitbull vs. Ryan Scope
Aaron Chalmers vs. Corey Browning
Fabian Edwards vs. Lee Chadwick
Terry Brazier vs.Chris Bungard
Prelims 5pm (Live on Bellator site and app)
James Mulheron vs. A. Andriuskevicus
Jim Wallhead vs. Abner Lloveras
Nathan Greyson vs. Cal Ellenor
Nathan Rose vs. Ranjeet Baria
Justin Burlinson vs. Maciej Gierszewski
Richard Kallos vs. Luke Westwood
Ashley Reece vs. John Ross
Tommy Quinn vs. Martin Hudson
Davie McLaughlin vs. Kieran Lister
Milad Ahady vs. Joe Calboutin
Tony Mustard vs. Mindaugas Gerve
WHOATV will be in attendance at the Utilita Arena so stay tuned to the WHOA Twitter account for live updates and results.