Ahead of their London, UK debut on Saturday, Bellator MMA held their pre-fight press conference today and the talent was in high demand. Along with main card fighters Matt Mitrione, Paul Daley, Michael Page, James Gallagher and Douglas Lima, Bellator president Scott Coker introduced special guests Royce Gracie, Tito Ortiz and former undisputed boxing heavyweight champion of the world, Lennox Lewis. Here are the best bits…

Royce Gracie: “I’ve been coming to England for 16 years but this time I am very excited, because this is the first time Bellator is here. We have a very good card. The English always put on a show. Can’t wait.”

Tito Ortiz: “The last time I was here was in 2002 with the other company and I had an amazing time, great fights and I expect the same. Bellator has an opportunity to be on one of the biggest stages in the world. London is the place to be.”

Lennox Lewis: “I’d like to welcome Bellator. They are doing some great things around the world. I was at one of their fights and I was really excited. I love combat sports. I would tell everybody, don’t miss it. Come out and support fighting. This is MMA fighting at it’s best. This is the first time in London so don’t miss it.”

Paul Daley: “It’s not the fight we wanted, the ‘Semtex’ vs Koscheck fight, but to me this is a bigger fight. Douglas Lima is a dangerous guy, former champion and it’s time for me to show him what England is all about, represent the country, defend the land and knock this f**ker out.”

Douglas Lima: “This is a huge opportunity. This is a huge show here in London, England. I’m very excited to headline with Daley. It’s going to be a very explosive fight. I’m ready. I’ve been training for this since January. I’m healthy and I can’t wait to put on a show for you guys.”

Scott Coker: “This fight will have title implications. Whoever wins this fight will fight Koreshkov next.”

Matt Mitrione: “I haven’t been here in 20 years, it’s really awesome to be out and get the hospitality. I’m happy for the sport, for the brand and put a hell of a show on for you guys on Saturday night. I’m excited, I’m in great shape, I just fought three weeks ago. I can’t wait to get out there, put my hands on Oli and show everyone I’m the best heavyweight in this division.”

Oli Thompson: “It’s a real pleasure to be here, fight on the big show, I’ve enjoyed fight week and everything that comes with it. It’s been a good journey for me, from where I first started but I’ve got my identity now and I’m looking forward to displaying that on Saturday night. I’ve got a very legitimate opponent in Matt and that’s what I wanted. I didn’t want any nobodies. Don’t miss the show, it’s going to be explosive.”

Cyborg Santos: “I’m so happy to be in London after 10 years and I’m really glad I’ve got the opportunity to fight for Bellator again.”

Michael Page: “I’m crazy excited about this event. I’m definitely going to put on the biggest show I’ve ever put on. It’s always about me. I don’t care who’s in the main event, I’m putting on the biggest show when I step out. You’ll all be talking about me afterwards. Don’t blink, don’t miss the show.”

James Gallagher: “It’s good to be here. It’s my first fight under Bellator. I’m 19 years old, I come from Strabane, they call me the Strabanimal and that’s because I’m a fu**ing animal! I’m going to make a statement to the rest of the division. I’m not here to mess around.”

Alex Reid: “Three months ago I couldn’t walk properly. What better excuse than to get fit and healthy, push yourself and fight for Bellator. I’m getting paid to do something I love. I’m looking forward to getting on this roller coaster on Saturday and showing what I’ve got.”


* Bellator 158 takes place at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday. Tickets are still available to purchase whilse armchair fans worldwide should check local listings for start times on Spike TV.