On Saturday night at the SSE Arena in London, England, Bellator wrapped up its European series for the year and did it in style, with a marque finish from one of the marquee names in the organization.
Michael “Venom” Page was supposed to face Derek Anderson in the main event of Bellator London, but when Anderson withdrew, Gianni Melillo stepped in on short-notice to take the fight. And “MVP” did what fans expect elite fighters to do against outmatched competition: he dominated. Page came out in his trademark karate style and made quick work of Melillo, setting him up with feints and movement before landing a clubbing overhand right that planted Melillo on the canvas. It was yet another walk-off KO for the fan favorite, and afterwards Page called for a rematch against current welterweight champion Douglas Lima.
In the co-main event, the heated rivalry between Fabian Edwards and Mike Shipman finally came to a head and the result was a cracker of a fight. In the lead-up to Bellator London, Shipman and Edwards had been engaging in a heated war of words and even got in a scuffle at the pre-fight weigh-ins. Come fight time that animosity showed itself with Edwards trying his best to hurt Shipman on the feet and Shipman taking Edwards down and controlling the action. With the fight up for grabs in the third round, Edwards came out with desperation and started scoring early but was once again tackled by Shipman. As the round wore on though both men seemed to gas somewhat and in the final minute, Edwards was able to get back to his feet and rock Shipman with a few punches before ultimately ending the fight in top position himself. That may have been the difference in the fight too, as Edwards ended up winning a split decision with scorecards of 29-28, 28-29, and 30-27.
To open up the main card, Søren Bak won a unanimous decision over Terry Brazier. The fight was slightly lackluster, with Bak dominating the bout with wrestling and grappling. Brazier was unable to stop the take downs and gave up mount frequently but was at least able to fend off any submissions. In the end, Bak was a clear decision and a frustrated Brazier hijacked the mic afterwards to shout “boring motherf*cker” before exiting the cage.
In the marquee undercard fight, Denise Kielholtz made quick work of Sabriye Sengul, stopping her opponent 32 seconds into the first round. What had the makings of a fun striking contest ended early when Kielholtz dropped an incoming Sengul with a beautiful counter right hand. Kielholtz followed her to the ground, secured a top-crucifix, and then locked on an Americana that brought about the tap. Afterwards, Sengul was beside herself with anger, calling for Kielholtz to rematch her in kickboxing.
In a pivotal undercard bout, Robert Whiteford completed an incredible comeback to stop Sam Sicilia in the third round. After a back and forth battle in the first two rounds, Sicilia took over in the third and looked to be on his way to win but Whiteford showed true heart, taking advantage of a tired Sicilia, hitting his opponent with a stinging combination with only a few seconds left in the fight. Whiteford then clubbed the reeling Sicilia with a huge uppercut that turned off the lights and secured himself a comeback win with only six seconds left in the bout.