Bellator 200 takes place in the SSE Arena in London this Friday night with a stacked card featuring established names and up and coming European stars.
The Main Event
A middleweight title tilt between Rafael Carvahlo (c) and Gegard Mousasi tops the billing after Mirko Cro Cop vs Roy Nelson was scrapped due to injury.
It was thought that Nelson would have had a replacement lined up but speaking at the Bellator 200 press conference in London, the Bellator President confirmed that Nelson would be not fighting this Friday but would be compensated for his training camp and expenses for the now cancelled heavyweight bout.
Rafael Carvalho (15-1) looks to defend his title on Friday night and is unbeaten since 2012 with his first and only loss to date coming on his professional debut. Since then, the 31 year old Brazilian has not looked back and has swept all in his path with impressive wins over Melvin Manhoef twice and has 12 finishes in his 16 fight career thus far.
In front of him is the ever popular Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2). The Dutchman’s exit from the UFC came as a shock to most people when he left the promotion on the back of a 5 fight winning streak with 4 of those fights ending in KO’s – his last bout against former middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
Mousasi has only fought once under the banner of Bellator but had a successful debut in a hard fought victory against Alexander Schlemenko last October.
The Dutchman brings with him 36 stoppages into the cage on Friday night. (24 – TKO/KO’s, 12 SUBs) and will surely not be fazed in his quest to becoming Bellator’s middleweight champion on Friday night.
The Co-Main Event
Michael “Venom” Page (12-0) makes his much anticipated return to the cage on Friday night. Having not fought since 2016, he arguably faces his toughest test to date against fan favourite David Rickels (19-4)
There has been some criticism that Page has been given relatively easy opposition to pad his record and while 12-0 is an impressive record for any fighter, it is refreshing to see that Bellator officials have put him up against the always game Rickels who brings a real threat and is riding a 3 fight winning streak with 2 TKO victories for good measure.
A win for Page will certainly silence the criticism regarding his previous fights and will surely lead him to bigger tests to really showcase his skills.
A win for Rickels propels him up the ladder for sure and would be a very noteworthy scalp to take with him to a potential welterweight title shot.
The Rest of the Card
From an Irish point of view, Charlie Ward (4-3) returns to action having last beaten John Redmond which led to Conor McGregor jumping into the cage to celebrate with his team mate in Dublin last October. He faces Louis King (1-1) in prelim action at 185lbs
Also out of SBG Ireland is Pedro Carvalho (7-2) who impressed lately at Cage Legacy 7 in Drogheda beating Ibragim Kontaev in dominant fashion. He makes his Bellator debut against Daniel Crawford (10-1) in a very interesting looking fight.
Aaron Chalmers (3-0) returns to welterweight action against Ash Griffiths (4-5). Chalmers, a famed reality TV star on Geordie Shore comes into the fight with three finishes to his name (2 KO/TKO’s, 1 SUB). The Newcastle born fighter has received criticism from fans who fail to recognise him as a legitimate MMA fighter but speaking on The MMA Hour late last year, Chalmers says he is impervious to this backlash and is just fulfilling a hobby and making a lot of cash to do so.
Chalmers opens up the main card which is live for Irish and UK viewers on 5Spike from 9pm (BST)
Check out the rest of the card below.
MAIN CARD (5 Spike – 9pm BST)
Champ Rafael Carvalho vs. Gegard Mousasi – for middleweight title
Michael Page vs. David Rickels
Phil Davis vs. Linton Vassell
Aaron Chalmers vs. Ash Griffiths
Kate Jackson vs. Anastasia Yankova
PRELIMINARY CARD (Bellator App – 5:30pm BST)
Vladimir Filipovic vs. Anatoly Tokov
Pedro Carvalho vs. Daniel Crawford
Martyn Harris vs. Ryan Scope
fCarl Noon vs. Mike Shipma
Louis King vs. Charlie Ward
Jeremy Petley vs. Saul Rogers
Kevin Fryer vs. Costello Van Steenis
Tom Green vs. Charlie Leary
Walter Gahadza vs. Kent Kauppinen
Jahreau Shepherd vs. Marcin Zywica
Chad Griffiths vs. Tom Mearns
Amir Albazi vs. Iurie Bejenari