Cageside Report: Bellator London
By Ben Gibson
Bellator London ended in dramatic fashion as a new champion was crowned at the SSE Arena Wembley.
The undefeated fighter, Rafael Lovato Jr defeated the middleweight champion Gegard Moussasi via a decision.
The first two rounds went to Lovato and whilst Moussasi came back in the third and fourth round Lovato shone through to grab the belt!
Whilst Moussasi was the more experienced fighter in the Octogon, his experience was not enough to allow him to retain the belt.
Melvin ‘No Mercy” Manhoef truly showed no mercy after he left Bellator London with a unanimous decision win against Kent ‘The Hammerhorn’ Kauppinen.
Manhoef landed a barrage of blow against Kauppinen and swayed the judges in his favour even though both men through bombs throughout the fight, with neither backing down.
The fight was action packed from the first bell with haymakers, knees and lots of heavy blows being received on each fighter.
Manhoef was in control of the fight from the first round and even when his shorts gladiator style pattern broke he continued to pressure and cut Kauppinen.
This took Manhoef to 31 wins with 28 coming by way of knockout, 14 losses and one draw and it takes Kauppinens’ record to 11 wins and five losses.
As Aaron ‘The Joker’ Chalmers had stated before his fight, London has been good to him and it was the same this time around.
Chalmers has now won all of his London fights and now stands at a record of 5-1.
The former Geordie Shore star, who had some of his co-stars supporting him, defeated the American Fred ‘The Demon’ Freeman via a triangle hold in the second round.
In the past some fans have criticised Chalmers ground game before, during and after the fight, he has been working on it up in Newcastle and he showed his skill.
After only six fights Chalmers may not be a house hold favourite but he is a good fighter and has the potential to do well in the MMA world.
The 36-year-old machine, Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley climbed to 41-17-2 after he defeated Erick Silva by a unanimous decision.
Silva shines when it comes to utilising his Brazilian Jiu Jujitsu and hunting for submissions. However, for this fight in both the first and third round he was determined to out strike Daley.
The issue was Daley has more power and when he applied pressure along with power he made light work of the Brazillian.
Whilst Silva did look for submissions, Daley was able to avoid the submission and return to applying pressure.
Overall, the fight went to Daley but if Silva tried to submit Daley earlier in the fight he may have come away victorious.
Suprisingly the Gallagher vs Labiano fight may have started with boos due to them not touching gloves it finished in celebration. The Irishman managed to defeat Jeremiah Labiano by two rounds on all the judges’ score cards.
The 29-28 unanimous decision victory was not easy however as it was a very 50/50 fight.
The second round may have been the best for fans of striking fighters as the final round was a tossle of submission control the second saw both firing strikes at each other.
This truly showed that both fighters where on par on the night and both showed incredibly determination and resilience in avoiding, dodging and defending but then flipping the fight in their favour.
Gallagher had a lot of support in the arena and with this win taking him to 9-1 his next fight will be an interesting matchup.
Fabian Edwards continued his winning run taking him to 8-0 after he beat Jonathan Bosuku by a unanimous decision.
During the first round with both fighters coming out determined to settle this early, Edwards threw Bosuku against the cage and then followed this up with a flying knee.
This fight was a fan favourite due to both its intensity and the fact that at any moment the fight felt like it could turn on its head. However, in parts it seemed that Bosuku may have nipped a round Edwards would come back and steal it with either a big hit or a takedown.
But it was not good news for all British fighters on the night as Mike Shipman was knocked out by Costello van Steens. The Dutch fighter, won during the second round just one minute and 34 seconds into the second round.
Van Steenis and Shipman both had a strong first round, they both landed good shots and it was even.
However, just before two minutes into the second round van Steenis dominated the fight with a flurry of punches forcing the referee to jump in and stop the fight. This took van Steenis to 12-1 Shipman’s record fell to 13-2.
The final fight on the main card saw Charlie ‘Relentless’ Ward, relentlessly defeat Justin Moore via knockout. Ward won via a ground and pound assault during the second round just three minutes into the fight.
The Irish man threw bombs at Moore and was the more dominant fighter beating Ward in an incredible fashion.