Bellator MMA has it’s second European show of the year and the company’s debut in London at the O2 Arena on Spike TV. Headlining the tentpole card is a matchup of welterweights Paul Daley and former champion Douglas Lima. Newly signed Matt Mitrione takes on local favorite Oli Thompson in a heavyweight matchup and one of the top prospects in Bellator, Michael Venom Page, squares off with Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos in another welterweight clash.
James Gallagher (3-0) vs Mike Cutting (6-5)
Gallagher is a 19 year old training partner of Conor McGregor who has won all 3 of his pro bouts via first round submission. It appears Cutting missed weight as he’s announced at 148.5 lbs. Both guys are making their Bellator debuts.
Gallagher gets a decent reaction from the crowd but a crowd shot shows a ton of empty seats. Gallagher with early cage control. Callagher catches a kick 45 seconds in and gets a takedown. Gallagher using elbows to set up a choke. Gallagher takes the back at 1:15. Gallagher with a full body lock and working for a rear naked choke. Gallagher continuing to land punches to the head, while trying to secure the choke. Cutting doing almost nothing. Cutting finally fights him off at 4:00 and ends up in top position briefly. Gallagher tries to take the back again but Cutting sweeps to top position. Gallagher working for an armbar but defended well by Cutting. Cutting landing punches from the top as the round ends. 10-9 Gallagher
Gallagher again with cage control early as they trade leg kicks for the first minute. Crowd booing 1:45 in as neither guy engaging at all. Gallagher stumbles Cutting with a counter shot after a kick at 2:15. McCarthy warns Cutting “Don’t just run, Mike”. McCarthy stopped the action at 2:45 and warned Cutting he’d dock him a point if he didn’t start to engage. Nice punch combo at 3:00 from Gallagher. Cutting connecting with single leg kicks while continuing to retreat. Gallagher with a takedown at 4:00 and right into side control. Gallagher working for a Kimura and uses it to take the back at 4:45. Gallagher with a rear naked choke but gives it up quickly. 10-9 Gallagher, 20-18
Round 3 starts the same with Gallagher advancing and Cutting basically running away. Cutting throwing the occasional kick, Gallagher barely even throwing a strike through 2:30. Crowd is deathly silent. McCarthy warns Cutting again at 2:45. Gallagher catches a kick at 3:00 and takes Cutting down. Gallagher on top in a north/south position, not landing any strikes. Cutting throwing light punches from the bottom. Ref warns them to work at 4:30. Gallagher into side control at 4:45. Crowd singing the Ole song. Gallagher finally throwing punches as the round ends. 10-9 Gallagher, 30-27. Terrible fight
WINNER – JAMES GALLAGHER (4-0) by unanimous decision (scores 30-27 x 3)
Gallagher got a post-fight promo but didn’t have much to say. Promised to give a better fight next time out.
Spencer Hewitt (12-10) vs Pietro Menga (12-0)
This was not on the main card lineup, so it must be from the prelims and was probably good.
Menga with early cage control. Menga drops Hewitt with one punch and does a walk-off pose afterward.
WINNER – PIETRO MENGA (13-0) by KO (punch) at 41 seconds
Jack Mason (29-15-1) vs Jason Radcliffe (8-2)
This is another fight that was not listed on the main card lineup. It should be noted that this card was taped earlier today but has been promoted as “live” in the definition that only applies to Bellator and Impact wrestling. Radcliffe drops Mason with a knee to the head in the first exchange of the fight and it’s over.
WINNER – JASON RADCLIFFE (9-2) by KO (knee) at 16 seconds
Lightweight champion Michael Chandler was interviewed cageside by Sean Grande and Jimmy Smith. Talked about how great it felt to win the title in front of his hometown fans in St. Louis. They announced a #1 contender’s fight between Patricio Pitbull, moving up from 145, against Benson Henderson, moving down from 170. That’s a good matchup in the sense that Chandler has heat with Pitbull and Henderson is still one of the biggest names in the company.
Michael “Venom” Page (10-0) vs Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (21-17)
They aired the walkouts. During Cyborg’s, Sean Grande said he could be an honorary member of the Legion of Doom. Not sure I’d make that comparison. MVP gets a huge ovation coming out and loud MVP chants. Page has first round stoppages in 9 of his 10 career fights.
Page with early cage control. More MVP chants. Page lands a right and Santos falls but Page gets right up, not wanting to go to the ground with him. Flying knee from Page lands but Santos ties him up along the cage and takes him down at 1:45. Page up quickly but Santos takes him down again. Page with a leglock attempt from the bottom. Santos fights it off and remains on top. Santos doing nothing from the top but holding Page down.Santos into side control at 3:30. Santos landing light punches to the head. Big John warns them to work at 4:30. Elbows to the body and legs from Santos as the round ends. 10-9 Santos
Page advancing to start again. Page landing single punches from distance, while Santos just retreating for the first 90 seconds. Through 3 minutes, Santos may not have landed a single strike, although he’s thrown a few. Hard body kick from Page at 3:30 and Santos clearly affected by it. Another one at 3:45. Page closing the distance. Loud MVP chants. Santos finally lands a strike, a leg kick, at 4:15. Santos runs into a jumping knee and Santos is down like a shot. Highlight reel KO there.
WINNER – MICHAEL “VENOM” PAGE (11-0) by KO (jumping knee) at 4:31 of round 2
Page put over Cyborg in his post-fight interview, made a Pokemon Go reference and then led the crowd in his hand movements.
Lukasz Klinger (7-2) vs Francis Carmont (24-11)
No walkouts for this one. Klinger took this fight on late notice when Linton Vassell from England dropped out. Carmont with a takedown 45 seconds in. Crowd is very quiet. Smith and Grande are so bored with the fight they start talking about Rory McDonald. Carmont not landing any punches and barely trying to advance, just holding Klinger down. Carmont finally landing some punches at 3:00, looking to set up a choke. Carmont secures the D’Arce choke at 3:30 and gets the tap after securing a body lock as well.
WINNER – FRANCIS CARMONT (25-11) by submission (D’Arce choke) at 3:54
Matt Mitrione (10-5) vs Oli Thompson (17-8)
Thompson is making his Bellator debut but formerly fought in UFC. Mitrione is back 3 weeks after scoring a KO win in his Bellator but nearly being knocked out himself in the same fight. Despite the fact that Thompson is from London and Mitrione has the American flag all over his entrance video, he gets a bigger reaction from the crowd.
Mitrione with a nice punch combo 45 seconds in. Mitrione throwing bombs but Thompson ties him up in a clinch on the cage. Mitrione gets separation with a knee and follows up with punches. More knees from Mitrione. Thompson fires back with punches. Mitrione teeing off on him at 1:45 but then backs off. Thompson falls down in a takedown attempt but Mitrione lets him back up and they clinch on the cage again. Thompson cut over his left eye. Separation at 2:45 and they’re both landing hard punches. Thompson looks rocked but he’s still standing. Thompson staggers Mitrione with a shot and tries to clinch but Mitrione takes control of the tie-up at 3:30. Mitrione with hard knees to the body from the clinch. Thompson with a nice punch combo and they separate. Back to a cage clinch at 4:45 and that’s how they close the round. 10-9 Mitrione
Mtrione with a punch combo 15 seconds in. Thompson follows up with one of his own. Both guys starting to land leg kicks as well. First two minutes in the centre of the cage with neither having cage control. Mtrione starting to advance at 2:15. Mitrione unloading with punches at 3:00 and Thompson gets backed up to the cage. They clinch with Mitrione in control. Mitrione landing punches to the head and body from the clinch but they get warned from the ref for lack of action. They separate at 4:15. Mitrione with a left hook that staggers Thompson. A couple more punches from Mitrione and Thompson falls face first and the ref stops it.
WINNER – MATT MITRIONE (11-5) by TKO at 4:21 of the 2nd round
Mitrione gets a post-fight promo and has his young son with him. He basically just put over Thompson in his interview and then said he was talking his son for a trip around Europe. You’d have to think his next fight will be for the vacant heavyweight title and they really should’ve at least hinted at something here.
Fedor, Lennox Lewis and Tito Ortiz were all shown at ringside.
Douglas Lima (26-6) vs Paul Daley (38-13-2)
The comments from Grande and Smith would make you think that they are moving away from the idea of a Koscheck/Daley rematch. The winner here should probably be in line for a shot at Andrey Koreshkov for the welterweight title. Daley gets a nice reaction from the crowd. Not quite as big as MVP’s but just under that.
Daley advancing to start but gets dropped by a punch from Lima, who follows him to the ground. Daley to his feet at 45 seconds but Lima still in control of the clinch. Ref warns them to work at 1:15. Lima not doing much but working for a takedown. Daley landing knees to the body and legs with his back to the cage. McCarthy breaks them up at 2:15. Great punch exchange at 2:30. Daley still advancing and gets caught with a counter punch again but stays on his feet. Lima clinches up on the cage again at 3:00. Ref warns them to work again at 3:45 but they separate on their own. Daley landing leg kicks. Lima starting to land leg and body kicks as well. Daley clinches up on the cage right before the round ends. 10-9 Lima
Daley with early cage control as they trade leg kicks. A few single punches from both guys but no sustained offence through 1:45. Lima catches a kick and clinches up on the cage after a takedown attempt but Daley separates. Punch combo from Daley at 2:15. Daley slightly more active through 3:00. Lima rocks Daley with a left and follows up with more punches. Daley no-selling it but he’s clearly hurt. Lima unloading on him at 3:15 and then Daley tries for a takedown. Lima ends up on top and still unloading on punches but Daley makes it to his feet at 4:00. Lima with knees to the body while controlling the clinch. Daley gets off a good shot but then Lima rocks him with another combo as the round ends. 10-8 Lima, 20-17
Daley had to be cleared by the doctor to come out for the 3rd. Jimmy Smith only scored round 2 a 10-9 but Lima clearly ahead 2 rounds regardless. Round starts the same as the other two with Daley controlling the pace but Lima gets a takedown at 1:45. Lima looking for an armbar as he tries to advance position. Ref warns them to work at 2:15. He warns them again at 3:00. Lima landing light shots to the body and holding Daley down. Daley trying to secure an armbar from the bottom but Lima defends it. Daley sweeps to top position at 3:45 but Lima does the same and ends up back in top position. Ref warns them again at 4:45. Lima does land some punches as the round ends. 10-9 Lima, 30-26 overall
WINNER – DOUGLAS LIMA (27-6) by unanimous decision (scores 30-27 x 3)
Daley and Lima both got interview time after the fight. Neither guy had much to say except to say that everything they said about each other before the fight meant nothing, that they were just trying to build a fight.
Overall, an okay show. I don’t sense much interest in this one, though. The MVP KO is worth going out of your way to see although word is that Cyborg suffered a fractured skull from the knee. Bellator is back Friday night with Bellator 159 on Spike with Darrion Caldwell vs Joe Taimanglo in the main event.