Bellator: “London 2” comes to SSE Arena in London, England, this weekend (Sat., Nov. 23, 2019), featuring one of the most brutal knockout artists of the Welterweight division going up against a late replacement on home soil. God save the Queen.
Let’s break it down:
170 lbs.: Michael Page (15-1) vs. Giovanni Melillo (13-4)
Even though Michael Page got humbled in the Welterweight Grand Prix, the formerly undefeated fighter quickly bounced back with a win at Bellator 227 in the most flagrant manner possible. If it seems like controversy walks hand in hand with “Venom” you’re not mistaken. It’s also the very thing that makes him a superstar amongst mere mortals, so if you expect him to stop behaving like a bad boy any time soon you’ll be disappointed.
The only way for Melillo to win this fight is to cool his jets and take Anderson every bit as seriously as he deserves. That’s a tall order given that he’s lost two of his last three fights by technical knockout and he’s taking this fight as a late replacement for “Barbaric” Derek Anderson. I wish I could say I believe that an upset is possible, but you couldn’t make me place that bet with a knife to my back.
Final prediction: Michael Page via first round knockout
185 lbs.: Fabian Edwards (8-0) vs. Michael Shipman (13-2)
Known by friends and enemies alike as “The Assassin,” Fabian Edwards has lived up to the billing by running up an unblemished record that includes three knockouts and three submissions. At 6’1” with a 79.5” reach, Edwards could easily transition to being a top Light Heavyweight if he wanted to, which is undoubtedly what makes him such a “killer” in the 185 pound class. While a win in Saturday’s main event won’t necessarily propel him to a title shot so young in his career, it could help him earn a No. 1 contender’s fight down the road.
Michael “Seabass” Shipman was in that position himself a short while ago. Having amassed a string of 13 straight wins from 2014-2018, Shipman was primed and presented to be a contender who just had to amass one or two more fights on the bigger Bellator stage to be in the mix. That started out well enough at Bellator 210, but after having his bell rung by Costello van Steenis at Bellator 223, it was van Steenis who got the contender’s bout. It is a credit to Shipman’s long winning streak that he can main event after such a damaging loss.
Shipman’s got a hard night’s work ahead of him. He’ll be giving up size to Edwards at just 5’10,” and he’ll be haunted by his loss in this same venue a few months ago in June. He’s a hell of a finisher though with eight knockouts and five submissions, more than doubling Edwards in one category and almost doing it in the other. Edwards achieved all of his wins in either Bellator or BAMMA, while Shipman put in yeoman’s work grinding his way through the regional circuit to make the big leagues. The mixture of quality opponents to also-rans in their victories “is virtually identical” as Mike Goldberg says, which makes it inevitable that the two would eventually collide in a fight like this. As another Goldberg was once told by Scott Steiner though, “SIZE MATTERS.”
Final prediction: Fabian Edwards wins via second round flying knee knockout
155 lbs.: Terry Brazier (11-2) vs. Soren Bak (12-1)
We’ve got a lot of characters with a lot of colorful nicknames on this card and “The Dominator” Terry Brazier and “The True Viking” Soren Bak are no exception. The latter likes to throw a wolf pelt around his shoulders to celebrate a win, and he’s had five straight occasions to do that leading to his first Bellator appearance. Brazier had a longer nine fight winning streak in his own right until Chris Bungard snapped it in Newcastle this February. Brazier has four knockouts and three submissions, Bak has two knockouts and six submissions. So who stands, who falls, who crowds the halls? Given that Brazier has a huge size advantage at 6’0” to 5’9” and I just said that “SIZE MATTERS” I think Richard Walters will be escorting Soren back to where the deejay calls.
Final prediction: Terry Brazier via rear-naked choke in round three
That’s a wrap!
MMAmania.com will deliver coverage of Bellator London 2 tomorrow with a main card at 5 p.m. ET on Channel 5 (U.K.) and Bellator’s mobile app. To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes, hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.