Bellator 267 Report: Michael Venom Page evens the score with Douglas Lima, wins by split decision

Originally published at Bellator 267 Report: Michael Venom Page evens the score with Douglas Lima

Bellator 267 Report: Michael Venom Page evens the score with Douglas Lima, wins by split decision

By: Eric Marcotte

Bellator 267 took place on Friday afternoon, from the Wembley Arena in London, England. The card was built around a marquee matchup in the welterweight division, a rematch between Douglas Lima and Michael “Venom” Page. The two fought previously at Bellator 221 in May of 2019, with Lima handing Page his first career loss in brutal fashion, knocking him out in the second round. Since that matchup, Page has rebounded with five straight wins, and a win over Lima would likely earn him a shot at the welterweight championship. It’s been a bit more of a roller coaster ride for Lima since that fight, winning the welterweight championship for a third time, but failing in his attempt to challenge Gegard Mousasi for his middleweight title, and ultimately losing his welterweight title in his first attempted defence of this reign against Yaroslav Amosov. Lima was certainly in need of a win here, looking to avoid three consecutive losses. Commentary for this card was provided by the team of Sean Grande and John McCarthy. Aidan Power and Josh Thompson were featured as the analytical team.

QUICK RESULTS:

*Khurshed Kakhorov def. Jair Junior by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Chiara Penco def. Katharina Dalisda by armbar at 2:45 of Round 1

*Fabacary Diatta def. Nathan Rose by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Jack Grant def. Nathan Jones by TKO at 2:16 of Round 1

*Elina Kallionidou def. Petra Castkova by heel hook at 2:07 of Round 1

*Davy Gallon def. Kane Mousah by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

*Lewis Long def. Michael Dubois by rear-naked choke at 0:41 of Round 1

*Tim Wilde def. Yves Landu by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

*Luke Trainer def. Yannick Bahati by TKO at 2:50 of Round 2

*Robert Whiteford vs. Andrew Fisher resulted in a no-contest due to an eye poke at 2:50 of Round 2

*Leah McCourt def. Jessica Borga by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

*Michael Page def. Douglas Lima by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

KHURSHED KAKHOROV (7-0, 134.8) VS JAIR JUNIOR (7-2, 136) – BANTAMWEIGHT

Both fighters were working for a takedown in the opening minute. After about three minutes of wrestling against the cage, Kakhorov was successful, and he began to work from the guard of Junior. Kakhorov was unable to do much from this position and narrowly won a very uneventful round. 10-9 Kakhorov.

They quickly returned to the clinch against the cage to begin the second round. Once again, it was Kakhorov taking the fight to the ground, but he chose to get up and allow Junior to his feet this time. Kakhorov controlled the remainder of the round on the feet, landing heavy shots while Junior seemed to tire. 20-18 Kakhorov.

Unlike the previous two rounds, the final round took place almost entirely on the feet. Junior, perhaps knowing he was down on the scorecards, began to push forward while throwing strikes, which resulted in a bit more success for him than he found throughout rounds one and two. Kakhorov did appear to be the more well-rounded striker, and he landed a number of leg kicks that severely damaged Junior’s lead leg. Ultimately, the fight went the distance and I scored it 30-27 for Kakhorov.

WINNER: Khurshed Kakhorov by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

Junior came into this fight following a lengthy layoff but managed to got the distance with the undefeated Kakhorov regardless. Aside from that, I don’t think you can take away many positives from Junior’s performance, as Kakhorov just seemed a step ahead all fight, regardless of where the fight took place. This marked Kakhorov’s Bellator MMA debut.

CHIARA PENCO (5-3, 114.8) VS KATHARINA DALISDA (5-2, 115.4) – STRAWWEIGHT

Dalisda went for a takedown early, with Penco sort of just pulling guard and accepting bottom position. Penco locked in an armbar off of her back and quickly submitted Dalisda.

WINNER: Chiara Penco by armbar at 2:45 of Round 1

Pulling guard can be a very dangerous strategy, but it quickly paid off for Penco here, submitting Dalisda off of her back. This was Penco’s fifth career submission, and it is clear that’s an area of her game she is confident in at this point. She improved to 2-1 in Bellator with this win.

FABACARY DIATTA (7-0, 145.2) VS NATHAN ROSE (7-3, 145) – FEATHERWEIGHT

Diatta was throwing some heavy strikes early in this fight. Neither fighter was able to sustain much momentum, with both men attempting to push forward, get their shots in, and then back off. It was a close round, and who you award the round to will likely come down to which fighter you believe got the better of these exchanges. In my opinion, it was Diatta, and I had him up 10-9 going into round two.

The second round was very similar to the first. Neither fighter was really committing to lengthy combinations, instead opting to throw one or two punches before retreating. Once again, it made for a very difficult round to score, with neither fighter really pulling ahead in any significant fashion. Diatta did secure a takedown at the end of the round, and while you really shouldn’t weigh these takedowns heavily at all, it could very well have been the difference-maker in the judges’ eyes. 20-18 Diatta.

Diatta took the fight to the ground halfway through the third round but was unable to keep Rose there for a significant portion of time. The remainder of the round mirrored the first two on the feet, creating another tough five minutes to judge. Rose advanced more throughout the round, and he landed some very good kicks to the body throughout, so I gave him the slightest of edges in round three. 29-28 Diatta.

WINNER: Fabacary Diatta by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

The fight was closer than the scorecards indicate here, but Diatta was just the slightest bit better throughout these fifteen minutes. His ability to secure those takedowns (even though they led to nothing) may have very well been the difference-maker in the judge’s eyes, and he seemed to have the edge in power as well as accuracy to me. Diatta is now 2-0 in Bellator MMA.

JACK GRANT (17-7, 169.4) VS NATHAN JONES (13-10, 170.6) – WELTERWEIGHT

Grant wasted no time in attempting a takedown, but the takedown defense of Nathan Jones held up well. Grant landed a number of hard left hands as the action continued on the feet, and a follow-up right from Grant hurt Jones. Grant knew Jones was hurt, and immediately took him down against the cage. He began to throw down ground and pound, and the fight was eventually stopped.

WINNER: Jack Grant by TKO at 2:16 of Round 1

Grant was the aggressor from the opening seconds, and while his initial attempt to take the fight to the ground failed, he quickly learned that he had the edge on the feet, and just started to swing. After hurting Jones, Grant got the fight to the ground, and the fight did not go on for long after this point. This was certainly a strong performance from Grant in his Bellator debut here.

ELINA KALLIONIDOU (7-4, 124.4) VS PETRA CASTKOVA (4-3, 125.6) – FLYWEIGHT

Castkova caught a kick and dragged Kallionidou to the ground to begin the fight. Kallionidou ended up rolling for a heel hook, and she was successful, forcing Castkova to submit.

WINNER: Elina Kallionidou by heel hook at 2:07 of Round 1

Not unlike the earlier fight in which a fighter pulled guard and secured the submission moments later, rolling for a heel hook can be a very dangerous strategy, but it paid off for Elina Kallionidou here. With this win, Kallionidou picked up her first win in Bellator, improving her promotional record to 1-4. This marked the first stoppage loss of Castkova’s career.

KANE MOUSAH (13-3, 155.2) VS DAVY GALLON (18-7-2, 155.1) – LIGHTWEIGHT

Mousah knocked Gallon off balance with a strong body shot early in the first. Mousah was finding success while advancing, while the crowd voiced their support of the fighter. As the round progressed, Mousah’s output diminished significantly, and Gallon picked up his activity as a result. This made for a close round, but I gave the edge to Gallon based largely on activity. 10-9 Gallon.

Mousah had an insane amount of Vaseline on his head going into round two, applied due to a cut that was opened up above his left eye towards the end of the previous round. The blood was pouring into his left eye, and his vision was impacted as a result. As Mousah began to fall behind on the feet, he began to look for a takedown but was unsuccessful. Gallon recorded a takedown towards the end of the round. 20-18 Gallon on my scorecard, but you could really go either way.

Gallon wobbled Mousah with a left hook seconds into the final round and proceeded to go for a takedown. Mousah was able to defend the attempt before he began to swing with some big shots in an attempt to even the score. Gallon wrapped Mousah up against the cage to relieve the pressure. In the final minutes, there were some heavy exchanges with both men looking for a finish, but it wasn’t to be, and the fight went the distance. 30-27 Gallon.

WINNER: Davy Gallon by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Gallon was the underdog going into this fight, but that elbow in the first round that cut Mousah open really changed the remainder of the bout. Gallon ended each of the first two rounds strongly, and by rocking Mousah at the start of round three, he did exactly what he needed to do here to secure rounds on the scorecards. This marked Gallon’s Bellator debut, and he spoke about his love of the rolling thunder kick in his post-fight interview.

LEWIS LONG (18-6, 169.8) VS MICHAEL DUBOIS (10-7, 170.2) – WELTERWEIGHT

Long tagged Dubois twice on the feet before taking him down. Long immediately took his back and locked in a rear-naked choke, choking him unconscious.

WINNER: Lewis Long by rear-naked choke at 0:41 of Round 1

This was about as perfect of a performance as you can get. Long immediately hurt Dubois, took him down, and finished the fight in an emphatic fashion. There is not much to break down from such a quick fight, but this was certainly an impressive showing from Lewis Long. Long improved to 3-1 in Bellator with this win.

YVES LANDU (16-8, 154.4) VS TIM WILDE (18-7-2, 155.6) – LIGHTWEIGHT

Wilde began the fight with a clean right hand but was brought to the ground after Landu caught an attempted head kick. Wilde was able to pick himself back up and did not seem deterred from throwing kicks despite the earlier takedown. Wilde had Landu on the backfoot, while he continued to do a good job of avoiding Landu’s attempts to bring the fight to the ground. 10-9 Wilde.

Wilde seemed to be the fresher fighter entering the second round. Both men were missing with a high percentage of their strikes, however, and this round was up for grabs with two minutes remaining. Wilde caught Landu with a back fist as well as a low kick, and he proceeded to defend another takedown attempt from Landu. I had him up 20-18 going into the final round.

Wilde was able to pick away at Landu from range in this third round. His leg kicks over the course of the fight had piled up the damage as well, and when Wilde would land them by this point in the fight, he consistently got some big reactions from Landu. I thought this was another round for Wilde, and I scored the fight 30-27 in his favor.

WINNER: Tim Wilde by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

While the first round was close, this became a more one-sided fight in favor of Wilde as time wore on. Tim Wilde was landing the better strikes while managing to keep the fight on the feet, forcing Landu to largely go on the retreat while swinging at air. The reach advantage did much to allow Wilde to pick away at Landu, while never really being in any significant danger. Wilde is now 2-1 in Bellator, with that one loss coming to the former champion, Brent Primus.

LUKE TRAINER (4-0, 205.2) VS YANNICK BAHATI (9-5, 1 NC, 206) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT

Trainer caught a kick and took Bahati down early. Bahati did a good job of keeping Trainer from advancing but was unable to get off of his back for a couple of minutes. Eventually, he was able to use the cage to get back to his feet, and the fighters separated. Bahati began to taunt a bit, but there was a decent amount of inactivity on both sides in the latter portion of this round. Trainer landed a left hook near the end of the round that wobbled Bahati. 10-9 Trainer.

Trainer continued to chip away at Bahati to begin the second round. Trainer landed a front kick to the face, as well as a strong right hook, but got caught by a spinning elbow from Bahati. Not long after, Trainer landed an elbow directly to the eye of Bahati, and easily took him down, landing a couple follow-up strikes before the fight was stopped.

WINNER: Luke Trainer by TKO at 2:50 of Round 2

I thought Trainer came off as a very likable person in the pre-fight video that Bellator aired, and coupling that with a great performance in the cage, I think that this night will do a lot for Trainer in the future. Bahati had his moments in the fight, but by and large, I thought this was a pretty strong performance from Trainer, whose record is now 2-0 in Bellator. Trainer called out Ben Parrish in his post-fight interview.

ROBERT WHITEFORD (16-4, 144.8) VS ANDREW FISHER (18-8-1, 145.8) – FEATHERWEIGHT

Fisher went for a head kick and got thrown on his head as a result. An eye poke to Whiteford brought a momentary pause to the action, but he took little time to recover. Fisher caught Whiteford with a right hand as he attempted to move inwards, which was perhaps Fisher’s best shot of the round. It was not the most eventful round, and a tough one to score. 10-9 Whiteford on my scorecard.

The fight continued at a similar pace in round two. Fisher partially landed a head kick, something he had been looking for all fight. Fisher caught Whiteford with a remarkable third eye poke, and the doctor was brought in to check on Whiteford. It was determined that he was unable to continue, and the fight was stopped.

Result: No contest due to an eye poke at 2:50 of Round 2

I thought this fight was pretty slow, and a trio of eye pokes resulting in a no-contest leaves this as a fairly unremarkable bout. I don’t think running this fight back would be the worst idea, but I doubt many people would be upset if the fighters moved on to different matchups either. I had Whiteford ahead on points before the stoppage if that means anything, but I wouldn’t put much stock into that either, it was a close opening round.

LEAH MCCOURT (5-1, 145.8) VS JESSICA BORGA (3-3, 145.8) – FEATHERWEIGHT

McCourt and Borga wrestled up against the cage as McCourt pursued an early takedown. She was ultimately successful and began to work from the guard of Borga. After failing to advance her position, McCourt allowed Borga to her feet, and Borga was able to end the round strongly with an attempted kimura. 10-9 Borga, due to the late submission attempt.

McCourt landed a number of punches to begin the second round, before taking Borga down once more. Borga was able to make her way back to her feet, but things were not getting better for her on the feet. McCourt was several steps ahead with her striking, and Borga was looking tired by the end of the round. 19-19.

The third round looked much like the second. McCourt was the better striker, and she felt no need to go to the ground with Borga for any significant portion of time. Borga had really nothing to offer McCourt here, getting tagged whenever she attempted to close the distance. 29-28 McCourt.

WINNER: Leah McCourt by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

This wasn’t a great fight, but that’s to be expected when you have a 3-3 fighter facing a 5-1 fighter in a co-main event slot. McCourt was clearly the better fighter, and this fight was put together with the intention of getting her a win, which is pretty typical matchmaking for Bellator. I assume the promotion is high on McCourt, putting her in the co-main event slot here, but hopefully they don’t rush her into a fight with Cris Cyborg as the commentary team suggested, because that would be borderline criminal. McCourt is now 5-0 in Bellator MMA.

DOUGLAS LIMA (32-9, 169.4) VS MICHAEL PAGE (19-1, 170) – WELTERWEIGHT

This was a rematch of a fight from May of 2019, a fight that Lima won by knockout in the second round.

Page took the center of the octagon and knocked Lima down with a quick right hand, although Lima did not seem to be hurt, immediately getting to his feet. He landed another one as Lima went for a low kick, which knocked Lima off balance yet again. Lima proceeded to take MVP down, and he began to work from his guard. Lima landed a series of strong left hands, but Page was doing a good job of keeping Lima from getting much off. 10-9 Page on my scorecard, but you could really go either way here.

MVP was working his jab to begin round two and avoided some big swings from Lima. Lima almost caught Page with the exact finishing sequence he caught him with in their last bout, which would have been pretty wild. Lima was the advancing fighter throughout this round, landing good kicks to the legs and body. Once again, Page just sort of ran over Lima while rushing in with a nice left hand, which could have very well could have been counted as a knockdown. I had it 19-19 going into round three.

Lima almost caught MVP with a left hand, and Page practically dived out of the way to avoid it. Lima was throwing with power, but it felt to me as though Page had the slightly higher output by the midway point of round three. Lima took MVP down with two minutes remaining and began to work from his guard, not unalike round one. Lima was able to land some good shots here and probably took this third round on the scorecards. 29-28 Lima on my scorecard.

WINNER: Michael Page by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

I had the fight for Lima, and it seems as though that was the popular decision online, but I didn’t take any issues with Page getting his arm raised here either. Every round of this fight was fairly close, with the most definitive round probably being for Lima in the third. This fight seemed to reopen the discussion for Bellator moving to five-round main events, which I wouldn’t be completely opposed to, although much like the UFC, there are certainly some headlining bouts that I really don’t need to be subjected to twenty-five minutes of. MVP called out the champion, Yaroslav Amosov, in his post-fight interview, and I think that’s the direction Bellator is likely to go in. For Lima, this marked his third consecutive loss, but honestly, I doubt this will drop his stock too much. His biggest enemy remains his inactivity.

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