The Bellator MMA cage was in London, England on Friday for Bellator 200: Carvalho vs. Mousasi. The SSE Arena, Wembley played host to the 15-fight card. The middleweight title was on the line in the main event with champion Rafael Carvalho facing top contender Gegard Mousasi.
Mousasi added a Bellator belt to his trophy case by defeating Carvalho in the first round. The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and DREAM light heavyweight and middleweight titleholder dominated Carvalho. He secured a takedown after catching a kick in the early moments of the first frame.
Carvalho proved difficult to keep grounded. He got back to his feet three times before being taken down again. Mousasi quickly mounted the Brazilian and delivered punches and elbows. Carvalho rolled to his stomach and Mousasi trapped an arm and delivered repeated right hands until the referee stepped in to stop the fight. Mousasi ended Carvalho's impressive 15-fight winning streak and walked away with the Bellator belt.
"It feels good. I worked hard for this," said the newly crowned middleweight champion. "It was a five rounder so I was thinking that it could go five rounds. But I fight with wrestlers, heavy guys so my strength is up to there. Once I have top position I'm good I think."
With the belt around his waist, Mousasi called out welterweight champion Rory MacDonald.
"I think everyone wants to see Rory MacDonald. Hopefully he doesn't chicken out and we'll have a fight," he said.
Page picked up where he left off in 2016. He kept Rickels guessing with footwork and spreed as he moved laterally on the outside. He darted in and out of the pocket with combinations while mixing in some showboating for the British crowd. With a minute remaining in the opening round, Page scored a knockdown after landing a right hand. He taunted Rickels as the round ended, simulating Rickels on wobbly legs.
The end came in the early going of the second frame. Page stepped in with a right hand that opened up a cut over Rickels' left eye. After absorbing the shot, Rickels called off the fight and verbally submitted. He quit.
"The one and only MVP is back," said Page following the win. "This is as sharp as I've felt. I went form a hellish training came back to back to back because I was training for a fight that never happened."
"I'm taking over everybody. Everybody," he said when asked what he wanted next.
Kicking off the main card, former light heavyweight champion Phil Davis faced former two-time title challenger Linton Vassell. Vassell's reach advantage gave Davis some issues in the opening frame but Davis made the proper adjustments in the second round. He was able to close the distance and get Vassell to the ground with his superior wrestling.
Davis's pressure started to take it's toll on Vassell and fatigue eventually set in during the final frame. Vassell's hands began to drop compromising his defense. Davis recognized the opening and fired off a head kick that landed. Vassell crashed to the canvas and the referee stepped in.
"I knew Linton was tough and I knew he was strong, but he's really tough man and he's strong as an ox," said Davis following the win. "The whole fight was close and I thought I was winning all three rounds but especially in hostile territory, loud crowd cheering on their nation, I couldn't leave anything to chance."
Davis has put together back-to-back wins since losing the 205-pound title to current champion Ryan Bader at Bellator 180. He wants another title shot but Bader is competing in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament.
"Whoever steps in this cage has to deal with me, and if that don't scare you, if that don't give you the heebie jeebies, if that don't keep you up at night, I don't know what does," said Davis.
Bellator 200 Complete Results:
Gegard Mousasi def. Rafael Carvalho by TKO (strikes) at 3:35, R1
Michael Page def. David Rickels by submission (verbal) at 0:43, R2
Aaron Chalmers def. Ash Griffiths by submission (guillotine choke) at 1:54, R1
Mike Shipman def. Carl Noon by KO (punches) at 0:11, R1
Kate Jackson def. Anastasia Yankova by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
Phil Davis def. Linton Vassell by KO (head kick) at 1:05, R3
Preliminary Card Results:
Jahreau Shepherd def. Marcin Zywica by TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00, R1
Walter Gahadza def. Kent Kauppinen by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:04, R2
Amir Albazi def. Iurie Bejenari by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:21, R1
Charlie Leary def. Tom Green by TKO (punches) at 4:58, R2
Charlie Ward def. Martin Hudson by TKO (punches) at 2:23, R1
Pedro Carvalho def. Daniel Crawford by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Anatoly Tokov def. Vladimir Filipovic by submission (guillotine choke) at 0:56, R1
Costello van Steenis def. Kevin Fryer by TKO (strikes) at 1:27, R1
Mike Ekundayo def. Tom Mearns by TKO (arm injury) at 1:02, R2