The Bellator cage landed in London for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic and the English fans came out in force for a wild night at Bellator 267.
The SSE Arena at Wembley was packed to the rafters for the first big-arena MMA event since lockdown, and the event had the feel of a big reunion as the fans turned up ready to celebrate at full volume, while the fighters, who had been left without the chance to fight for more than a year, arrived determined to put on a show.
The main event saw Michael ‘Venom’ Page make a grand entrance, as he walked down the ramp with rapper Skepta. The crowd’s chants of “MVP! MVP!” drowned out the musical entrance, but the atmosphere was electric.
Page took on three-time former welterweight champion Douglas Lima and, after a tense, tight three-rounder, the Brit claimed a split-decision victory that had the London crowd on its feet.
The fans went home happy, but Page wasn’t fully satisfied, and told reporters, including Fighters Only, backstage that he would rather face Lima again in a trilogy fight then step up to face unbeaten welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov.
The co-main event saw Northern Ireland’s Leah McCourt continue her unbeaten run as a Bellator featherweight as she outpointed American Jessica Borga.
McCourt had the upper hand throughout the fight, though she had to be on her guard early on as Borga attempted to snatch a Kimura submission off her back during the opening round.
But McCourt defended well, avoided trouble and claimed a clear win, thanks in no small part to her improved striking, with her left jab her most effective weapon all night.
The night also saw the arrival of an exciting new talent from the U.K. as English light heavyweight Luke Trainer scored a second-round TKO finish of former EFC middleweight champion Yannick Bahati, then endeared himself to the London crowd with an impassioned post-fight speech.
Trainer was the undoubted star of fight week in London, as his charm and personality, coupled with a remarkable backstory, made his fight with the equally as classy Bahati a must-see matchup.
Both men threw for the fences, but it was Trainer whose skills eventually saw him claim an eye-catching stoppage win – his second win under the Bellator banner.
The event was a huge success, with fighters rising to the occasion and the fans generating a memorable atmosphere.
Bellator’s next European event will see them head to Moscow, Russia for Bellator 269 on October 23, before jetting back across continental Europe to the atmospheric 3Arena in Dublin, where fireworks are guaranteed at Bellator 270 on November 5.
Bellator 267: Official Results
- Michael Page def. Douglas Lima via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Leah McCourt def. Jessica Borga via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Rob Whiteford vs. Andrew Fisher ruled a no contest (accidental eye poke) – Round 2, 2:50
- Luke Trainer def. Yannick Bahati via TKO (elbow and punches) – Round 2, 2:50
- Tim Wilde def. Yves Landu via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Lewis Long def. Michael Dubois via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 0:41
- Davy Gallon def. Kane Mousah via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Elina Kallionidou def. Petra Castkova via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 2:07
- Jack Grant def. Nathan Jones via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:16
- Fabacary Diatta def. Nathan Rose via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Chiara Penco def. Katharina Dalisda via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:45
- Khurshed Kakhorov def. Jair Junior via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)