Bellator Newcastle: Prelim Preview
Bellator returns to England Saturday, 9th of February, as it brings a night full of cage action from the newly named Utilita Arena in Newcastle.
A night that seems to whet the appetite of any fight fan with a stacked preliminary card featuring 12 fights, before the 4 exciting main card bouts.
With a host of local talent to keep the North East crowd happy, and even the chance to bring in a bit of Tyne and Wear rivalry. The Prelim card also sees the return of MMA veteran Jimmy Wallhead, in his first fight since 2017.
The first fight of the night is certainly one that may bring mixed reactions from the local crowd, as Newcastle’s own Joseph Calboutin (0-0) making his pro debut will face South Shields’ Milad Ahady (1-0) in a Lightweight bout.
As expected, there is a continued North East feel throughout with Sunderland’s fighters Luke Westwood (1-0) and Cal Ellenor (7-2), County Durham’s Bailey Gilbert (2-3), Teesside’s Kieran Lister (3-0), Newcastle’s Davie McLaughlin (2-1) as well as South Shields’s James Mulheron (11-2) all stepping into the Bellator cage.
One of the fights almost guaranteed to catch the eyes on MMA fans is the return of Jimmy Wallhead, as he makes his first return to the cage in 18 months. The 29-11 vet will face of the in the co-main on the prelim card as he faces Abner Lloveras (22-9-1) in a Welterweight bout. Wallhead was last seen gracing the UFC octagon, but successive losses against Jessin Ayari and Luan Chagas would be the only time we would see Judo Jim in the octagon. But a veteran of the European scene Wallhead is well known among MMA fans.
His opponent, Spanish fighter Abner Lloveras is another European vet, trains out of Gracie Barcelona. A fighter with 22 professional wins, most of his victories came by either TKO or submission, with a preference towards a rear naked choke. This is a fight that is almost certain to go to the ground and will be a treat for fans of the ground game.
The featured preliminary bout sees local lad James Mulheron (11-2) go up against Arunas Andriuskevicus (14-4) in a Light Heavyweight bout. This will be Andriuskevicus’s first appearance in the Bellator cage.
Mulheron has made one UFC appearance, in a loss to Justin Willis back in 2017 at Glasgow’s Hydro Arena. His last and only previous Bellator appearance came back in 2016 when he beat Neil Grove by decision, at Bellator 158 in London.
A decent prelim card full of up and coming British talent, as well as the aforementioned veterans, this is certainly a card that will get everyone excited and in the mood for when the main card starts.
James Mulheron (11-2) vs Arunas Andriuskevicus (14-4)
Light Heavyweight bout.
Jimmy Wallhead (29-11) vs Abner Lloveras (22-9-1)
Cal Ellenor (7-2) vs Nathan Greyson (6-2)
Ashley Reece (6-1) vs John Ross (2-1)
Dominique Wooding (5-2) vs Bailey Gilbert (2-3)
Nathan Rose (6-1) vs Ranjeet Baria (3-0)
Tony Mustard (9-4) vs Mindaugas Gerve (3-2)
Tommy Quinn (7-5) vs Martin Hudson (4-6)
Davie McLaughlin (2-1) vs Kieran Lister (3-0)
Richard Kallos (0-0) vs Luke Westwood (1-0)
Justin Burlinson (3-0) vs Maciej Gierszewski (4-3)
Milad Ahady (1-0) vs Joseph Calboutin (0-0)