Bellator London: Three fighters to watch
Bellator continue their quest to conquer the European market on Saturday night with yet another stacked card in the newly formed Bellator European Series. After a highly successful inaugural event in Newcastle, England, earlier in the year, the iconic SSE Arena in London will play host to the next chapter in the ever-growing series.
With a mouth-watering middleweight title fight between the highly experienced Gegard Mousasi and undefeated American Rafael Lovato Jr. topping the bill, Bellator London has a wealth of talent on show from the off. While American MMA fans may not be as familiar with all of the fighters competing, the depth of talent on show on Saturday night from a European perspective yet again highlights the seemingly bottomless pit of talented fighters that compete on this side of the pond.
For those less familiar with some of names on the card, we’ve highlighted three fighters to keep an eye out for in the earlier fights on what should be another explosive evening of high-octane MMA action.
Justin Burlinson (4-0)
At just 22 years of age, welterweight Justin Burlinson is most certainly someone to keep an eye on. With a professional record of 4-0 and an impressive 16-1 amateur career, Burlinson is currently on an incredible 19 fight win streak which dates back to February 2014.
Fighting out of The Dungeon BJJ and MMA Academy in Sunderland, Burlinson turned pro in August 2017 and has since notched up wins on Bellator and BAMMA cards in the UK. With a calm and collective approach to his fights, Burlinson is not one to be underestimated once the cage door shuts. Possessing brutal power and a savage ground game, Burlinson is destined for big things within the world of MMA should he continue as he is.
Nathan Rose (7-1)
Most fighters can only dream of taking to the big stage in their own backyard but on Saturday night, that’s exactly what featherweight Nathan Rose will be doing. Hailing from south London, Rose will be making the journey into the Bellator ring for the second time having featured on the debut Bellator European Series in Newcastle earlier this year. Stopping Ranjeet Baria with a crushing right hand in the last second of the first round on the aforementioned Newcastle card, Rose has an abundance of confidence coming into this fight in his hometown.
With a legion of fans in support, Rose will look to continue his 6-fight win streak in impressive fashion on Saturday night. Another big finish will only increase the interest from Bellator and will in time no doubt see Rose rise up the card in future European events.
Nathan Greyson (6-3)
Opening proceedings on Saturday, former Cage Warriors flyweight champion Nathan “Violent Money” Greyson will be looking for redemption after suffering defeat on his Bellator debut at the first European Series event in Newcastle earlier this year. Backed by a large hometown following, the south Londoner won’t need any motivation as he looks to put February’s set back behind him.
With raw aggression and brute strength, Greyson has two former UFC fighters to thank in his continued quest for Violent Money. Mentored by Jimi Manuwa and Brad Pickett, Greyson turned his back on a life of crime to pursue a career in MMA. With all six of his professional wins coming by way of KO/TKO, Greyson likes to throw hammers and get the job done.
Bellator London – Full Card:
Middleweight World Title Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (45-6-2) vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. (9-0)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Melvin Manhoef (30-14-1, 2 NC) vs. Kent Kauppinen (11-4)
160-lb. Catchweight Bout: Aaron Chalmers (4-1) vs. Fred Freeman (2-2)
Welterweight Feature Bout: Paul Daley (40-17-2) vs. Erick Silva (20-10, 1 NC)
140-lb. Catchweight Bout: James Gallagher (8-1) vs. Jeremiah Labiano (12-6)
Middleweight Bout: Fabian Edwards (7-0) vs. Jonathan Bosuku (7-4)
Middleweight Bout: Mike Shipman (13-1) vs. Costello van Steenis (11-1)
Middleweight Bout: Charlie Ward (6-3) vs. Justin Moore (7-3)
Welterweight Bout: Walter Gahadza (18-3) vs. Oliver Enkamp (7-2)
Flyweight Bout: Denise Kielholtz (2-2) vs. Bryony Tyrell (4-3-1)
Lightweight Bout: Chris Bungard (14-4) vs. Charlie Leary (15-10-1)
Flyweight Bout: Kate Jackson (10-3-1) vs. Lena Ovchynnikova (12-5, 1 NC)
161-lb. Catchweight Bout: Terry Brazier (10-2) vs. Alessandro Botti (15-9)
Featherweight Bout: Nathan Rose (7-1) vs. Luke Ord (7-2-1)
Lightweight Bout: Alfie Davis (11-3) vs. Jorge Kanella (8-7, 1 NC)
Welterweight Bout: Justin Burlinson (4-0) vs. Wendle Lewis (8-4)
Welterweight Bout: Galore Bofando (5-3) vs. Kevin McCabe (3-3-1)
Middleweight Bout: Kevin Fryer (6-3)vs. John Redmond (7-13)
Bantamweight Bout: Nathan Greyson (6-3) vs. Frans Mlambo (6-4)
UK fans can catch all the action via the Bellator app for the prelims and on Channel 5 and Sky Sports for the main card.