Final thoughts: Bellator Milan
Bellator returned to Italy with an event stacked with 3 sperate cards, 1 kickboxing and 2 MMA. The event was a sell-out with the Italian crowd singing their hearts out for the home fighters.
The Kickboxing card was exciting, fights were quite well matched. The highlight was Jade Jorand knocking out an experienced plus 60 fight pro with a beautifully timed kick. Some looked to have thought La Notte was hard done by, however, there is also the argument that you should keep your hands up at all times. Regardless it should not take away from the sensational victory for the debutant. In the headliner, Gabriel Varga outpointed a tough Cristian Faustino to retain his belt. Faustino did not look out of place and put up a good fight, Varga was just on a different level.
Let’s take a look at how the MMA card went.
A hard time for the British fighters
All British fighters failed to pick up a win on the night with Kane Mousah coming closest as he lost a split decision which could have gone his way. The fight was not as many would have hoped as Macedo looked to limit Mousah’s striking ability, avoiding his power throughout. Dan Cassell’s n2 fight win streak in Bellator came to an end, Ashley Reece was involved in arguably fight of the night and showed amazing toughness and heart but could not get the win. Lastly, Yannick Bahati was on the receiving end of a tough loss to the hands to the now-retired Melvin Manhoef who called time on his career following his knockout victory.
The Italians rose to the occasion
Only one Italian lost on the MMA card and that was almost inevitable since it was an all Italian fight. Kicking things off was Nicolo Solli who was exciting and lively in his submission victory of Dan Cassell. Solli constantly tried to get a submission from his guard and finally succeeded in extending his pro record to 3-0. Pugliesi/Fusi 2 was a rematch to remember for Pugliesi, he avenged his loss to Fusi in a dominant performance. In a heavyweight clash, Zubco pulled off a huge win against Hedsey Gerges, a huge win for him against one the top Heavyweight kickboxers.
Paterno put on a show in his fight, the former Cage Warriors Welterweight champion won an exciting fight that had the fans going wild. Lastly, Alessio Sakara finished his bout in 23 seconds to get the arena on their feet. He steamrolled his opponent dropping him with a body shot before the referee stepped in seconds after.
Russians ran riot
There was a surprisingly big following for the Russian fighters in a section of the arena who sang their hearts out. Baby Fedor was the first to pick up a win as he outpointed Domingo Barros in a hard-fought bout. Vadim Nemkov stole the show though, he dismantled Rafael Carvalho in every department before submitting him. It was a truly clinical performance that should put him into title contention sooner rather than later. A Russian card is beginning to look like it could be a real winner for Bellator.
Overall a solid night of fights where everything was on the show. They’re expected to return in the new year with eyes on Rome, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
University of Limerick Economics and Finance Graduate. Editor for MMA Latest News and contributor to MMA Viking also featured on IMMAF, Fox Sports Asia, FanSided MMA and MMA-Today.