Bellator Dublin is set to go down tomorrow (Sat., Feb. 25, 2023) inside 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland featuring the return of Welterweight champion, Yaroslav Amosov, who will be making his long-awaited return to action since putting his MMA career on hold to fight for his home country of Ukraine in the on-going battle against Russia.
He will be taking on and interim title holder, Logan Storley, who won the title by defeating Michael Page at Bellator 281. In the co-main event, Featherweight contenders Jeremy Kennedy and Pedro Carvalho will collide in a pivotal showdown. Before the headliners and the rest of the competitors on the main card do battle, let’s take a deep dive at all of the matchups.
Champion Yaroslav Amosov vs. interim champion Logan Storley
Amosov was scheduled to defend his belt against Michael Page in May of 2022 before he withdrew from the fight to help his home country of Ukraine in the ongoing battle against Russia. Almost a year later, he returns to action to face off against interim champion, Logan Storley, a man he knows all too well. That’s because “Dynamo” defeated Storley via slit decision in 2020. While that should give Storley confidence coming into the rematch, the fight was pretty close and competitive. Amosov is undefeated at 26-0. but Storley has a great record himself at 14-1 with his lone loss coming to the current champion. Storley’s key to victory is to make this fight an all-out grappling affair where he has the advantage. Amosov is equally as good with his jiu-jitsu as he is with his striking, but if Storley can find a way to neutralize him with his wrestling he has a solid chance. Storley’s selflessness to put his career on hold to fight in the war against Russia has made him a fan-favorite, and he would love nothing more than to return on a winning note. He has been away from the cage in 20 months, so there’s not telling if that will play a factor.
Prediction: Amosov via unanimous decision
Pedro Carvalho vs. Jeremy Kennedy
There hasn’t been a ton of movement when it comes to the championship race in the Featherweight division, with the belt being defend four months ago. Aaron Pico is on the mend after undergoing shoulder surgery, so he likely won’t be able to return until late 2023. That’s where Carvalho and Kennedy come in. As the two get set to tango in the co-main event, the winner could find himself in a championship bout with an impressive enough performance. With Kennedy coming off a win over Pico, his chances of getting that title fight are pretty high. Carvalho, meanwhile, is 2-2 in his last five fights, so he will need a great performance coupled with the victory if he wants a rematch against Pitbull.
Prediction: Kennedy via unanimous decision
Peter Queally vs. Bryce Logan
Queally is currently on a two-fight losing streak, which is why he wasn’t considered as an option to compete in the 155-pound Grand Prix tournament, which is set to kick off next month. But anything can happen in this game, and “The Showstopper” has a lot to gain with a victory because aside from snapping his two-fight skid, an impressive victory could put him on Bellator’s radar as a potential alternate in the tournament. Logan hasn’t done all the well himself, losing all three straight fights under the Bellator banner. But he has a chance to ruin the crowd’s buzz if he can upset the local hero and earn himself another fight with the promotion. While Queally hasn’t been winning, his two losses have come against Patricky Pitbull and Benson Henderson, is nothing to hang his head low over. I expect him to bounce back here with an impressive showing.
Prediction: Queally via second-round TKO
Sinead Kavanagh vs. Janay Harding
When Kavanagh steps into the cage on Saturday, it will be one year to the date removed from her win against Leah McCourt, which also went down in Dublin. Ranked No. 3 in a division that only has six fighters plus the champion, Kavanagh is one good win away from getting back into the mix. The same, however, can not be said for Harding, who is currently on a two-fight losing streak. That said, she does have a win over Kavanagh, defeating her at Bellator 207 in 2018 due to a doctor’s stoppage as a result of a cut. Harding is just 3-4 with the promotion, so a win would be huge here. Again, Kavanagh will have the hometown crowd behind her and, as well all know, the Irish fans are as rabid as they come and the fighters feed off that energy which leads me tot believe that it’s going to be a long night for Harding.
Kavanagh via unanimous decision
Ciaran Clarke vs. Leonardo Sinis
Clarke will be fighting in his fourth straight fight in Dublin when he takes on newcomer Leonardo Sinis in Featherweight action. Clarke (27) is 6-0 inside the Bellator cage and has shown promise thus far. That said, there is still a lot of room for grown for the fast-rising contender. As for Sinis, he turned pro over a decade ago and will be making his promotional debut against the hometown favorite. Sinis is on a two-fight win streak, but prior to that he has lost three straight. All of his wins have come by way of stoppage so there is not wasted time or movement from him because his clear objective is to get in and get out as quickly as possible. He has a tough draw in Clarke, but he is more than capable of playing spoiler, though he will have to be near-perfect to get it done. Sinis does have a puncher’s chance but this is Clarke’s time to shine and there should be another highlight reel win in store for him.
Prediction: Clarke via second-round knockout
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