We continue our look at the prelims taking place on Saturday night at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham. With a hugely successful debut show in the bag, Bellator will be hoping their European Series continues in the same vain and with another stacked card, who’s to say that won’t be the case. Stay tuned as tomorrow we’ll bring you the remaining four prelims before moving on to the main card.
Mohammad Yahya (5-1) vs. Gavin Hughes (9-1) – Lightweight
Making his second appearance in Bellator, Mohammad Yahya returns to the UK to face dangerous Liverpudlian, Gavin Hughes. MMA aficionados may remember Yahya’s last fight under the Bellator umbrella when he beat Ashley Griffiths on the joint Bellator/BAMMA card in Newcastle at the end of 2017. Finishing Griffiths in the first round by KO/TKO, Yahya has amassed a 5-1 record with one blip coming in December 2016 when he was on the wrong end of a KO defeat to Hassan Talal on Jordanian promotion, Desert Force.
Yahya will have to take it up a notch when he faces Gavin Hughes on Saturday night. With a 9-1 professional record, Hughes has experience on high-level events having previously fought on EFC and ACB cards, the latter of which saw him defeat fans favourite Chris Bungard by way of a first-round guillotine choke. With just the one defeat to his name, a first round KO defeat to Martin van Staden on EFC 68, Hughes was originally scheduled to fight Don Madge however the fight was cancelled when Madge signed for the UFC.
Dan Cassell (3-3-1) vs. John Nicholls (4-2) – Lightweight
Golden Ticket Fight Promotions very own Dan Cassell makes a quick turnaround after last fighting on GTFP in February this year. With a first-round finish of Dan Good moving him onto a 3-3-1 record, Cassell is a seasoned fighter having previously fought on the likes of Cage Warriors and BAMMA.
In John Nicholls, Cassell will face a man on a two-fight win streak. With wins over Jake Daley (referee stoppage) and David Khalsa (RNC), Dartford based Nicholls makes his way to Birmingham on Saturday night to face arguably his toughest challenge to date when he squares up to Wolverhampton’s Cassell.
Kane Mousah (11-2) vs. Mateusz Piskorz (14-4) – Lightweight
The level of experience in the world of MMA steps up a gear when Kane Mousah meets Mateusz Piskorz in the Bellator cage on Saturday night. With a brutal first-round body punch finishing off George Emanuel in Manchester on Celtic Gladiators, Mousah needs little introduction to UK MMA fans. With just two defeats in his thirteen-fight professional career (Robert Whiteford on ACB 87 in Nottingham and Marc Diakese on BAMMA 25 in Birmingham), Mousah will expect nothing less than another victory on Saturday.
With 18 professional fights under his belt in 9-year professional career, Mateusz Piskorz fights out of Warsaw, Poland, and comes with bags of experience. Whether he has the experience and know-how to deal with someone like Kane Mousha remains to be seen.
Craig Turner (7-0-1) vs. Ashley Reece (7-1) – Welterweight
Ashley Reece makes his second appearance on a Bellator card having previously appeared on the Newcastle card back in February. Barely breaking sweat, Reece made light work of John Ross by finishing the Scot in the first-round. With just a unanimous defeat to his name against Adam Proctor on ACB Nottingham, Reece has five finishes under his belt and will be looking to continue his upward trajectory by beating Craig Turner.
With a near perfect professional record of 7-0-1 to his name, Craig Turner will have to take it to the next level when he faces Reece on Saturday. Having previously fought on regional UK shows including Made 4 The Cage and Fight UK, Turner will have to show true grit and determination if he wants to maintain his unbeaten professional record.
Dominique Wooding (5-2) vs. David Khalsa (2-4) – Featherweight
Due to appear on the first Bellator European Series in Newcastle, Dominique Wooding will be hoping to finally make his way to the cage on this occasion after his scheduled opponent pulled out the day before the fight. Barring any such disaster striking again, the explosive Wooding will be keen to impress on his Bellator debut when he takes on David Khalsa.
On the back of a four-fight losing streak the last thing you’d want to do is face someone with the skillset of someone like Dominique Wooding. That’s exactly what David Khalsa will be doing on Saturday night. Having won his first two professional fights, Khalsa has fought on BAMMA events for five of his six professional fights. Khalsa’s last defeat came last month when he suffered a first-round defeat to Cameron Hardy on Battle Arena 54 in Birmingham. Hoping that his downward slump doesn’t continue on Saturday night, Khalsa faces a real uphill battle when he comes face to face with Dominique Wooding.