Bellator Milan “Edwards vs. van Steenis” took place Saturday, September 26, 2020 at Allianz Cloud in Milan, Italy. The main event was a Middleweight rankings affair where the undefeated Fabian Edwards (9-0) faced Costello van Steenis (12-2). van Steenis was content to work at range throwing leg kicks, while the longer Edwards seemed to have trouble finding the range save for one strong left hook that clipped the chin. 10-9 van Steenis.
The first round was fairly close, but the second round was largely one way traffic. van Steenis took Edwards down, and all Edwards could go was close guard to avoid damage and scramble to his feet. van Steenis trapped his head in a guillotine when he did and Edwards had to go back down to the ground to relieve the pressure, letting van Steenis on top in full mount late, where he finished with a big flurry of ground and pound at the end.
Edwards turned the tables on van Steenis in the third and got his own takedown, landing some short hard elbows on top, preventing van Steenis from getting back to his feet multiple times, taking his back each time he did so. If any judge gave him the first round it could swing his way two rounds to one, because I definitely scored Edwards 10-9 in Round 3. Here’s a little of how the last round looked.
van Steenis picked up a split decision win of 28-29, 28-28 and 29-28 and immediately had an expletive laden post-fight interview.
“I’m feeling great. A little upset. It’s not my best performance. I had very little training camp and had to cut more weight as well. I also had a nerve stuck in my neck. Couldn’t even lift my toothbrush up to brush my teeth. Fuck it though.”
Two other Middleweight bouts were also set for the main card — one of which was Mike Shipman (13-3) vs. Pietro Penini (9-1-1, 1 NC). It was a very solid first round in “Seabass” Shipman’s favor. He had Penini backpedaling off his constantly changing stance and powerful left and right hooks, and then took him down at 3:55 to stay on top until virtually the last second before the bell.
The second round was contested entirely on the feet and once again Shipman got the better of it, opening up a cut by Penini’s left eye which streamed blood down his face onto his chest throughout the round. Penini would need a miraculous comeback to win in Round 3 but did nothing to change his fortunes. He landed one clean right to the jaw, that’s it. Shipman took him down two minutes in and stayed busy on top with the ground and pound to dominate and take a 30-27 X3 unanimous decision.
Last but not least was Will Fleury (7-3) vs. Kent Kauppinen (12-5). Fleury neutralized the strength of Kauppinen’s strikes with multiple takedowns, even taking full mount on the back at one point. Kauppinen repeatedly scrambled to his feet and even got a single leg takedown late, though Fleury got back up the much quicker of the two. It was a 10-9 opener for Fleury.
The second round was more of the first, save for the fact that in the second half of the frame Kauppinen was not able to get back to his feet. Fleury controlled his legs and smothered him on top to take home another 10-9 round. Round 3 — rinse and repeat. It went the same and looked the same as round two. Fleury took a unanimous decision of 30-27 X3.
For complete Bellator Milan results and coverage click here.