Returning Brazilian welterweight Douglas Lima spoils Paul Daley’s homecoming, but it’s MVP who steals the show on Bellator’s UK debut.
Douglas Lima secured himself a welterweight title shot and with it a rematch against champion Andrey Koreshkov with a dominating performance against home bird Paul Daley on Bellator’s British debut at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night.
After a year away from competition getting through what was almost a career-ending knee injury, Lima was on top form as he was able to get the better of Daley in the evening’s main event. Over the course of 15 minutes, the 28-year-old ‘Phenom’ was able to land the majority of his shots and get the better of the exchanges when the action went to the mat and the judges agreed by awarding him a unanimous points decision (30-27 x 3).
His reward will be a title fight against champion Koreshkov later in the year, while Daley will now look to rebound from his first loss in the Bellator cage with perhaps, finally, the rematch against Josh Koscheck that the MMA world has been itching to see.
In the evening’s co-main event, heavyweight Matt Mitrione scored his second successive victory within a three-week period as he finished Brit Oli Thompson via TKO at in the final 40 seconds of the second round.
The two heavyweights went toe-to-toe form the bell in what was a very crowd pleasing fight. But ultimately it was Mitrione who found the winning strikes and who will surely now have his eyes set on the currently vacant Bellator heavyweight championship.
Star of the show Michael Page, meanwhile, proved to be the real MVP as he stole the show once again. His flying knee knockout at 4:31 of the second round, combined with the Pokémon Go inspired celebration, went viral and has been the talk of Planet MMA for the past 36 hours.
Bellator has a real superstar on their hands and if Page can continue to put on devastating performances while also displaying his fun side, he could become one of the sport’s biggest stars in the next couple of years, and a real poster boy for the California-based promotion.
Light heavyweight Francis Carmont got back to winning ways, defeating Lukasz Klinger via submission in the opening round. Carmont rebounded from his loss to Phil Davis at last year’s light heavyweight tournament by dominating from the bell. With GSP in his corner, the Frenchman got Klinger to the mat early and was able get the better of the grappling exchange until Lukasz tapped to the D’Arce choke.
The much hyped and talked about James Gallagher from the SBG gym in Dublin, Ireland opened his Bellator account with a whitewash unanimous decision victory over Mike Cutting. Cutting didn’t seem like he wanted to engage with Gallagher, dancing around the cage for the majority of the fight which wasn’t crowd pleasing to say the least. That being said 19 year old Gallagher kept his composure, pressed the action when he could and was dominant on the ground.
Bellator 158 Full Results
Douglas Lima defeated Paul Daley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Matt Mitrione defeated Oli Thompson via TKO (punches) at 4:21 of Round 2
Francis Carmont defeated Lukasz Klinger via submission (D’Arce choke) at 3:54 of Round 1
Michael Page defeated Evangelista Santos knockout (flying knee) at 4:31 of Round 2
James Gallagher defeated Mike Cutting via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Manuel Garcia defeated Alex Reid via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
James Mulheron defeated Neil Grove via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)
Danny Mitchell defeated CJ Meeks via submission (twister) at 4:25 of Round 1
Nathaniel Wood defeated Chase Morton via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:55 of Round 3
Jason Radcliffe defeated Jack Mason via knockout (knee) at 0:14 of Round 1
Dean Garnett vs. Luiz Tosta was declared a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
Pietro Menga defeated Spencer Hewitt via knockout (punch) at 0:41 of Round 1
Mike Shipman defeated Dom Clark via submission (anaconda choke) at 1:33 of Round 1