Bellator London Preview
As Bellator hits the capital this weekend, we see a stacked triple-header of bouts including the enigmatic Michael Venom Page and Birmingham’s own Fabian Edwards.
A Featherweight bout between Terry Brazier and Soren Bak opens up the main card. Brazier (11-2) faces the biggest test of his career after bouncing back from a defeat to Chris Bungard at the start of the year and returned with a win against Alessandro Botti in June via Keylock submission. Brazier is somewhat of a staple for Bellator’s trips to England with his last two fights have been for the promotion in his home country. Brazier is 1-1 in Bellator, with both contests ending before the final bell so the chances of this going the distance are slim, to say the least. His opponent Soren Bak has a 13-1 record on the European regional circuit. This will be the first time he gets to shine on a big stage, and it comes against Terry Brazier. After an unbeaten stint with Cage Warriors including a win over Paddy Pimblett last year, ‘The True Viking’ moves up a weight class to fight Brazier.
A heated rivalry will be settled on Saturday night as Fabian Edwards and Mike Shipman will finally go to war to determine the countries best Middleweight. Edwards holds a record of 8-0 MMA (4-0 Bellator) and he won his last via decision against Jonathan Bosuku at Bellator 223 back in June. Across the cage is Mike Shipman (13-2 MMA 4-1 Bellator) who lost his last outing to Costello van Steenis, also at Bellator 223 in June. This fight has been a long time coming and the two men have opposing views on how the matchup plays out.
Edwards believes that beating Shipman on Nov. 23 will prove that he’s the best middleweight in the U.K. After reaching that milestone, he wants to show he’s the best middleweight in Europe. The man to beat to become that fighter is Costello van Steenis. He then plans to move on to fight the elite middleweights on Bellator’s books. Shipman insists the undefeated Birmingham fighter talks a far different game when they stood face-to-face. He claimed that the confident persona that feeds through on social media quickly disappears once their eyes meet. ‘Seabass’ has vowed to break Edwards and on the way, take his undefeated record from him.
Headlining the card is a Welterweight bout between debutant Giovanni Melillo and Michael Venom Page. MVP was scheduled to face Derek Anderson but he pulled out of the fight 3 weeks ago and Melillo stepped in to give Page a completely different challenge. If MVP had faced Anderson, he would have faced one of the more well-rounded fighters on the roster. Not only could Anderson have been dangerous on the feet, but he could have given Page a test on the ground. After losing to Douglas Lima, he bounced back with an emphatic flying knee win over Richard Kiely in Dublin at the end of September.
Melillo is coming off a win over UFC veteran Will Chope back in May and a win in his promotional debut against a hometown name like Page would propel his career into a different universe. There’s no pressure on the Italian, who comes in on 2 weeks notice and will get another chance to impress the promotion whatever the result. With 10 finishes in his 13 wins, ‘The Punisher’ will pose a threat to Page, especially as MVP was knocked out against Douglas Lima in the opening round of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix.
It promises to be a fantastic night of action in the capital at the SSE Arena Wembley.
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