The prelude for a stacked main card affair, the Bellator 179 prelims dished up a tasty amount of finishes, with BAMMA fighters Nathan Jones and Fabian Edwards two of the most impressive from a handful of top performances.
Taking place The SSE Wembley Arena in London on May 19 the Bellator 179 prelims featured seven fights.
Always high energy, heavyweight Stav “Crazy Bear” Economou paraded his funky pink hairstyle inside the Bellator cage, but that wasn’t the only thing to grab the fan’s attention. The Cypriot fighter; who holds wins over K-1 and PRIDE veteran Bob Sapp as well as current Bellator light-heavyweight Linton Vassell. Economou brought the heavyweight prowess to the Bellator 179 prelims, stopping gritty veteran Dan Konecke with a first round guillotine choke, at the 1:05 mark.
It wasn’t all knockouts and submissions on the Bellator 179 prelims though, Amir Albazi did well to grind out former IMMAF amateur participant Jamie Powell for a unanimous decision. Swedish native Albazi brought a boisterous amount of crowd support to the SSE Wembley Arena, but the fight itself was less than fan friendly with Albazi pinning Powell to the ground for the majority of the 15 minutes.
Nathan Jones continues his road to the BAMMA welterweight title
One of the most promising talents on the Bellator 179 prelims, top British welterweight Nathan Jones picked up arguably the easiest win of his career, in a completely one-sided contest against Umer Kayani. Both fighters had faced off before, albeit, a UK-1 bout, but despite the different circumstances, Jones’s dominance once against prevailed. After Kayani had a point deducted early on for a groin strike, Jones utilised his wrestling, taking “Bullet Tooth” down. From there, it was evident that Kayani was completely out of his depth, as “Mr. Bag & Tag” secured the rear-naked choke submission at 4:35 of round one. Regardless of the result tonight, it is expected that Jones’s next fight will be for the BAMMA welterweight title.
Is Fabian Edwards the next big star at middleweight after Bellator 179 prelims KO?
A spotlight professional debut on the Bellator 179 prelims, Fabian Edwards landed the most impressive knockouts of the night against Rafal Cejrowski. “The Assasin” was originally set to fight last weekend at BAMMA 29 in Birmingham, but with opponent Mitchell Richards not medically fit to compete, the younger brother of UFC fighter Leon Edwards was shifted to Bellator’s undercard. It was a definitive conclusion from the Brum middleweight, landing a flash, jumping knee at the 3:44 mark of round one to put an exclamation mark on his inaugural pro outing.
Elsewhere, BAMMA veteran Jeremy Petley put on a grappling clinic to snap a four-fight skid against ex-The Voice UK contestant Chase Morton. Canadian-born Petley has fought some of the best featherweight and lightweights in the UK, and his superior experience shone through at the SSE Arena Wembley. Morton had a few spells of aggression, managing to overturn Petley’s rear-naked choke attempt at the end of the first round, but the majority of the fight was in favour of “Ninja” Petley.
Opening Bellator 179 prelims, Michael Shipman scored a TKO stoppage over Marcin Prostko at 2:39 of the first, whilst Salih Kulucan managed to survive an initial onslaught from Diego Barbosa, submitting him with a heel hook at 2:18 of round one.