The last time Bellator MMA debuted in a city with a double card was New York City. That was Bellator 180/NYC. On this night Bellator MMA becomes the first major organization to put on a card in France. And they did it with a live audience too - albeit a sparse crowd.
In the main event of Bellator 248, Michael Venom Page took a unanimous decision win over the formerly undefeated Ross Houston. It was also Houston's debut for the company, coming from Cage Warriors, where he went 8-0 with one no-contest.
MVP came out in his typical side stance with his hands down and light on his feet. Ross Houston who's family is in boxing looked to sit back and fire his hands. And he landed a right on Michael Venom Page that seemed to be a wake up call. At that moment the Brit knew he was in with a legit fighter.
The fight moved to the ground, and despite a long time in a dominant position, Ross Houston did very little if anything there.
Coming out for round two, suddenly MVP's hands were up and he looked more focused.
Page was now defending takedowns consistently. He managed to push Houston down and landed hammer fists on the Scottish fighter. Including one accidentally to the back of the head where referee Todd Anderson called time out to check on him. Back on the feet the duo looked to exchange.
And then Michael Venom Page picked up his own takedown, going into side control and reddening Ross's right eye from ground and pound.
Starting the final round, MVP was back to his old stance bouncing around. Most of the fight was then spent in the clinch position and Page stuffing take downs. After the win; his 18th and 4th in a row, MVP is now 4-0 in decisions.
He reiterated that he wanted Douglas Lima at any weight next, and wasn't thrilled with the make up of the canvas.
Heading into Bellator Europe 10's main event, was a heavyweight rematch. The last time Timothy Johnson and Paris native Cheick Kongo fought, Kongo KO'd the fellow former UFC fighter in the opening round at Bellator 208 - which also happened to be Johnson's debut in Bellator.
Since then he's gone on to win his last two by KO in the 1st round as well.
Timothy Johnson's confidence has grown tremendously since he started sparring with Francis Ngannou. The 45 year old Kongo seemed either nervous or apprehensive in front of his home crowd for the first time. He also had an 8 fight win streak coming into the contest.
The two big men started by feeling each other out and Johnson scored a perfectly timed take down, going right into top position. There he connected with some hammer fists, but also complained that Kongo was grabbing his gloves to Dan Mirgliotta.
The former collegiate wrestler then grinded Cheick Kongo with ground and pound.
When Kongo finally got back up they locked each other into a clinch, landing knees and using dirty boxing. This was a theme that played out over and over again throughout the fight.
Cheick Kongo was able to apply some more pressure in the middle round, making the third and final round - if there was no finish - the deciding round. While playing rock 'em sock 'em robot, Kongo landed a right left combo, putting a small cut under Timothy Johnson's right eye.
Timothy Johnson seemed to be more patient with his attack in the closing round. And did just enough to squeak out the split decision win. Afterwards, he told Gareth A. Davies that he would like a title shot in the near future. Had Cheick been more aggressive it was definitely a contest he could have won. But Johnson's grinding approach wound up being the difference.Published 11 Oct 2020, 08:17 IST