There’s a new sheriff atop Bellator MMA’s middleweight division, and he’s a fighter Scott Coker knows well.
On Friday evening at the SSE Arena in London, England, Gegard Mousasi became the first man to hold Strikeforce and Bellator world titles when he stopped Rafael Carvalho with a first-round TKO. In a fairly straightforward bout, Mousasi was able to take Carvalho down, pass to mount, and pound out Carvalho without much effort, adding another belt to the former Dream two-division world champion’s trophy case. After the bout, Mousasi called out Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald for a champion versus champion superfight later this year.
In the co-main event of the evening, Michael Page kept right on rolling with a sensational shellacking of David Rickels reminiscent of Anderson Silva’s domination of Forrest Griffin. In their pre-fight faceoff, Rickels mimed ripping Page’s heart out but when the two met inside the cage, it was Page who took Rickels’ heart, causing “The Caveman” to verbally submit a minute into the second round. From the opening bell, Page was in control, battering Rickels with a variety of powerful and exotic strikes, taunting him all the while. Then, in the second round after Page landed a vicious counter right hand that rocked Rickels, “The Caveman” called it quits, signaling to the referee that he was done while Page was talking trash to him. The win moves Michael Page to 13-0 in his MMA career and 8-0 inside the Bellator cage.
In the main card opener, Phil Davis staked his claim for another shot at the Bellator light heavyweight title, knocking out former title challenger Linton Vassell with a devastating head kick. Davis controlled both the striking and the limited grappling in the fight before finding the finish in the third round. The win was Davis’ second since losing a split decision to Ryan Bader at Bellator NYC and arguably puts him in position for a third go at Bader.
Elsewhere on the card, Kate Jackson won a unanimous decision over Anastasia Yankova, Mike Shipman knocked out Carl Noon in 11 seconds, and reality TV star Aaron Chalmers choked Ash Griffiths unconscious with a first-round guillotine choke. Most notably though, on the undercard, Conor McGregor protege Charlie Ward scored a first-round TKO over Martin Hudson and then called out rapper 50 Cent who has recently shown an interest in Bellator MMA.