Bellator Moves Paul Daley-Douglas Lima Into Headline Role For London Debut

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Welterweights Paul Daley and Douglas Lima will now main event Bellator’s debut in London next month.

Officials confirmed that the July 16 card from The O2 would continue despite the passing of Kimbo Slice recently. Slice was set to headline against James Thompson.

Thompson has now been completely removed from the card, which will air on Spike TV.

Below is the full press release, along with the current lineup for the event:

Arguably England’s two top welterweights, Paul “Semtex” Daley (38-13-2) and Michael “Venom” Page (10-0) have each been assigned new opponents for the upcoming “Bellator 158: London” event. Former welterweight world champion Douglas Lima (26-6) has agreed to fight Daley after an undisclosed injury forced Josh Koscheck to withdraw from the highly anticipated matchup. In addition, gritty Brazilian veteran Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (21-17) will step in for Fernando Gonzalez to fight undefeated British superstar Page.

The main card also features a light heavyweight contest between local hotshot Linton “The Swarm” Vassell (16-5) and Francis “Limitless” Carmont (24-11) as well as a heavyweight slugfest pitting Mark Godbeer (11-2) against James Mulheron (8-1) in a British brawl that you do not want to miss.

We will have to wait a little longer for the highly anticipated faceoff between Daley and Koscheck. The 33-year-old now directs his attention to “The Phenom” as he looks to add to his five fight winning streak. A native of Nottingham, England, “Semtex” has recorded wins in nine of his last ten fights, with eight of those victories ending in a knockout. A four fight veteran of Bellator MMA, Daley has put his stamp on the welterweight division, posting a 4-0 record with three knockouts, including his most recent first round finish of top contender Andy Uhrich in the main event of “Bellator 148: Daley vs. Uhrich.”

After originally being slated for the co-main event of “Bellator 156: Galvao vs. Dantas 2” on June 17, Lima has been given the opportunity to take his talents overseas and challenge Daley in a welterweight thriller. In his first 10 appearances under the Bellator MMA fray, the 28-year-old Brazilian has collected eight wins, seven of which have come by way of knockout. A former champion of Bellator’s stacked 170-pound division; Lima has continuously proven his worth with highlight reel victories over former Bellator MMA veterans the likes of Rick Hawn, Ben Saunders (twice) and Bryan Baker. With past winning streaks of nine, six, and five, Lima’s most recent string of victories consisted of five consecutive knockouts over the span of three years. “The Phenom” will look to begin another streak of success when he challenges “Semtex” Daley on his home turf on July 16.

Having made his professional debut in 1997, “Cyborg” Santos is undoubtedly one of the most experienced MMA athletes in the game today. The 38-year-old Brazilian veteran has amounted 21 victories over his illustrious career, highlighted by his 12 knockouts, 10 of which came in the first round. In his Bellator MMA debut, “Cyborg” stunned an electric Connecticut crowd when he delivered a first round win over Brennan Ward via heel hook submission at “Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson.” Before signing a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA this year, Santos also made four appearances under the Strikeforce banner from 2009 to 2011. “Cyborg” will have to prepare for one of the most feared fighters in the sport of MMA, when he meets the undefeated “MVP” in his home country on July 16.

With an unblemished record of 10-0, “MVP” remains one of the brightest young stars in the world of MMA. Page received a new opponent, with the news that “Cyborg” Santos would replace Fernando Gonzalez in one of the evening’s welterweight feature fights. The 29-year-old London native has a knack for finishing his challengers in the early stages of the bout, collecting nine first round victories with only one fight reaching the judges’ scorecards. “Venom” thoroughly impressed in his 2016 debut, when he forced budding star Jeremie Holloway into an Achilles lock submission just 2:15 into the first round in their clash at “Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson.” It will be more of the same for the knockout specialist Page, as he will enter the cage on July 16 with the full intention of adding to his impressive tally of first round finishes.

“Bellator 158: London” will be broadcast free on SPIKE UK and Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, while in America the card will air FREE on SPIKE. Exact broadcast details for the event will be revealed in the near future. Tickets are on sale now and start at only £40.00. They are available at TheO2.co.uk or The O2 Box Office.

Updated “Bellator 158: London” Fight Card

Bellator MMA Welterweight Bout: Douglas Lima (26-6) vs. Paul Daley (38-13-2)

Bellator MMA Welterweight Bout: Michael Page (10-0) vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (21-17)

Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Bout: Linton Vassell (16-5) vs. Francis Carmont (24-11)

Bellator MMA Heavyweight Bout: Mark Godbeer (11-2) vs. James Mulheron (8-1)

Preliminary Card:

Bellator MMA Prelim Middleweight Bout: Michael Shipman (8-1) vs. Lee Chadwick (21-12-1)

Bellator MMA Prelim Flyweight Bout: Pietro Menga (12-0) vs. Spencer Hewitt (12-10)

Bellator MMA Prelim Bantamweight Bout: Luiz Tosta (9-2) vs. Dean Garnett (7-0)

Bellator MMA Prelim Middleweight Bout: Jason Radcliffe (8-2) vs. Jack Mason (29-15)

Bellator MMA Prelim Featherweight Bout: Chase Morton (6-2) vs. Nathaniel Wood (8-3)

Bellator MMA Prelim Middleweight Bout: Alex Reid (11-9-1) vs. TBD

Bellator MMA Prelim Middleweight Bout: C.J. Meeks (4-1) vs. Danny Mitchell (17-7-1)

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