Patricky Pitbull edged a tight decision over Sunderland’s Ryan Scope to launch Bellator’s new UK and European Series at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle, live on Channel 5.
It was a tight affair between the lightweight contender’s and it really could have gone either way, with two of the judges’ scoring it 29-28 to the Brazilian, who improves to 21-8, with the other giving it the same score in favour of Scope, who falls to 11-2.
There was no doubt Pitbull took the first round, dropping Scope with a cracking knee to the jaw of the Sunderland star, who recovered well and got himself back into the fight. He improved again in the second, controlling the pace and positions, although Pitbull kept reminding him of the danger with some solid right hands.
It was tied up going into the third, with Pitbull starting the faster with some spinning kicks to the body, before Scope came back well, working behind a good jab. Pitbull got the takedown late in the round, but Scope rolled through and back to his feet, nearly submitting Pitbull as he defended another takedown attempt and taking the Brazilian’s back, before he was beaten by the final buzzer.
Regardless of the result, Scope has proven he belongs on the Bellator lightweight scene.
Aaron Chalmers was given the big build ahead of his co-main event slot in his hometown. A product of reality TV show, “Geordie Shore”, he hadn’t put a foot wrong since turning his attention to MMA, going 4-0 and finishing all his opponents in the first round. Unfortunately for “The Joker” his good fortune ended against Corey Browning.
Browning, now 5-2, fighting out of Knoxville, Tennessee, proved too strong for Chalmers, forcing him to submit after 20 seconds of the third with a heel hook. It was his second straight win in Bellator and his second over a highly touted prospect, after he knocked out Kevin “Baby Slice” Ferguson, the son of Kimbo Slice, last October.
Browning used his grappling to good effect, however he was close to being finished in the first round himself, as Chalmers escaped from his grasp and dropped him with a blistering combination. However, the inexperienced Chalmers failed to jump on his downed foe, expecting the fight to have been waved off, and Browning survived to go into the second.
He dominated Chalmers in the second, taking him down and controlling the action. Chalmers gamely fought off his back, escaping an armbar attempt, but he looked out of his depth on the ground. Browning let him slip away once and he wasn’t about to make the same mistake again, emphatically stopping the hometown star.
Chris Bungard pulled off a shock, as he submitted former two division BAMMA champion Terry Brazier inside the first round, by way of a rear naked choke. There was little love lost between the pair, in what was billed as a “Battle of Britain”, as Brazier, who slipped to 10-2, came in the big favourite.
The ex-paratrooper looked to be getting the better of the exchanges, but after he level changed, Bungard, now 14-4, leaped on his back before dragging him down to the mat in a rear naked choke, giving “The Dominator” to submit to his Glaswegian rival.
Fabian Edwards has built a reputation for sensational finishes so far during his short pro career, but he had to settle for his first decision win, as former Cage Warriors middleweight champion Lee Chadwick extended the distance for the first time.
Edwards, who improves to 6-0, still dominating proceedings, getting the better of “The Butcher” both on the feet and the ground. He almost added to his highlight reel in the first round, stunning Chadwick, now 24-14-1, with a head kick, but couldn’t follow up with the fight ending blows. Despite not getting the desired finish, it was still an excellent performance from Edwards, who will be back in action when Bellator return to the UK on May 4th in his hometown of Birmingham.
It was an exciting night of fights on the preliminary card, with only one fight going the distance and eight first round stoppages. The standout results from the undercard, were Jim Wallhead’s unanimous decision win over Spaniard Abner Lloveras. It was the British favourite’s first fight since 2017.
James Mulheron was defeated in his first fight at light-heavyweight after suffering a bad cut in the third round at the hands of Lithuanian Arunas Andriuskevicus, who was on his way to victory anyway, whilst Cal Ellenor, survived an early onslaught from former Cage Warriors flyweight champion Nathan Greyson, before he submitted him later in the first by rear naked choke.