Bellator Preview: 215 and 216
After a successful card in Newcastle this past weekend, Bellator continues to gift us with top level MMA action, with two mouthwatering cards this weekend. The American promotion will take over the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville in Connecticut on Friday and Saturday night for Bellator 215 and 216.
The action starts on Friday night, and is headlined by a heavyweight bout between UFC veteran Matt Mitrione (13-6) and former Pride and Strikeforce Russian fighter Sergei Kharitonov (27-6). Mitrione has been on good form since swapping the UFC Octagon for the Bellator cage, beating the likes of ‘The Emperor’ Fedor Emelianenko and Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson, only losing last time out to Ryan Bader. Kharitonov made his Bellator return last October by finishing Roy Nelson in the first round.
The main card also features undefeated Logan Storley facing Romanian Ion Pascu in a 170lb fight, as well as a 135lb bout between Eduardo Dantas vs Toby Misech. Dantas was due to face Manny Vasquez, but Vasquez pulled out due to injury, with Misech stepping in for his second Bellator bout. Dantas will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing his last two outings to Michael McDonald and Darrion Caldwell. Misech will be looking to continue his Bellator career in the right way after he finished Edward Thommes in the third round of his Bellator debut.
The card on Saturday night is enough to get anyone excited, especially fans in the UK. As Bellator 216 is headlined by possibly the biggest fight in UKMMA in recent history as Michael ‘Venom’ Page faces Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley in a Welterweight Gran Prix 1st round bout. But to warm up to the main event, Bellator has put on two heavyweight bouts as the legend that is Mirko Cro Cop faces Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson, and heavy-hitting Cheick Kongo will face off against Vitaly Minakov.
Cro Cop goes into this with it being only his third fight in as many years but has not lost a bout since 2013. The Left kick master will be looking to get revenge over Big Country after his third round loss by KO against Nelson at UFC 137 in 2011. The former Ultimate fighter winner Nelson has not had the best of starts to his Bellator career since moving over from the UFC, having won once and lost twice (against Matt Mitrione and Sergei Kharitonov), but will be hoping for the same result as last he faced the Croatian heavyweight.
The Co-Main event promises to be a war, as Kongo will face undefeated Minakov. Kongo has been on a tear lately having won his last 6 fights, with the last two wins being a 1st round KO’s. Undefeated Minakov will return to Bellator for the first time since 2014, where he beat his opponent for Saturday night by Unanimous Decision.
The Main event sees possibly the two biggest British fighters at the moment as Michael Venom Page faces Paul Semtex Daley in a 1st round Grand Prix bout. Daley has lost 3 of his last 5 bouts, losing against Jon Fitch, Rory MacDonald and Douglas Lima. Page, on the other hand, is undefeated but has not fought since May last year where he beat David Rickels by verbal submission and is known for his knee to the head win over Cyborg Santos, which caved in Santos’ head.
This is the most anticipated all British MMA bout for some time, and although it is on a card in America, it will be the headline bout of Bellator’s new Sky TV deal, allowing British fans to watch a Bellator main card live for the first time. But with two nights of consecutive MMA cards, Bellator is certainly treating the fans worldwide.