Bellator MMA kicked off fight week for “Bellator: The British Invasion” on Wednesday with a very special event at the Bristol Boys and Girls Club that catered to high school wrestlers and mixed martial artists from all over Connecticut.
Prior to the official “Bellator: British Invasion” press conference, fans in attendance were treated to a very special Q&A session comprised of a panel of the biggest names of MMA’s past, present and future with MMA’s inventor Royce Gracie, MMA Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz and wrestling phenom Aaron Pico.
After the special Q&A, Bellator President Scott Coker and all 10 fighters scheduled for the televised portion of the event converged to preview the highly anticipated bouts.
The “Bellator: British Invasion” event takes place this Friday, Feb. 27 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. and airs LIVE and FREE on Spike TV.
A limited number of tickets for “Bellator: The British Invasion” are still available at Ticketmaster.com and Bellator.com.
Scott Coker, Bellator President:
“These guys are amazing world-class athletes, and you’re going to see some great fights Friday. We were in London a few months ago, and I can tell you that the people over there are really excited about these fights.”
“I’m the champion, and I’m planning to keep my belt. It doesn’t matter who I’m fighting – I’m going to keep my belt. I’ve been training smarter.”
“There’s a whole lot more British fighters than just the guys who are here this week who are looking for the opportunity we have. I think we have something to prove for sure.”
“King Mo” Lawal:
“I’m a wrestler. I’ve wrestled all throughout my career, and I’m going to be successful Friday night. So I’m not going to change anything no matter who I’m going up against. I’m all Team America.”
“I’m a ‘moneyweight.’ If someone offers me a contract to fight, I’m going to take it. I’m a fighter – my job is to fight.”
“Being from England, fighting’s part of our culture. I’m a fighter, that’s it.”
“It’s a fight for us (British guys). Fighting’s just a part of our culture. The Americans see this as a sport, but we don’t treat it like that. I think I can speak for the rest of the British guys when I say that we’re not here to play a sport – we’re here to fight.”
“I’m going to beat [Linton Vassell’s] ass.”
“It’s great to be fighting at home.”
“I always love fighting in front of a packed house, and I’m sure I’ll be responsible for at least a few hundred tickets that are sold. It’s electric in there.
“Bellator: British Invasion” – Friday, February 27, Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.
Main Card (9 p.m. ET)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Champ Emanuel Newton (25-7) vs. Liam McGeary (9-0)
Bellator Heavyweight Feature Fight: Cheick Kongo (22-9-2) vs. “King Mo” Lawal (14-4)
Bellator Welterweight Feature Fight: Paul Daley (35-13) vs. Andre Santos (37-9)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Linton Vassell (14-4) vs. Rameau Sokoudjou (16-12)
Bellator Welterweight Feature Fight: Brennan Ward (9-3) vs. Curtis Millender (7-0)
Preliminary Card (6:45 p.m. ET)
Bellator Bantamweight Prelim Fight: Matt Bessette (13-6) vs. Josh Laberge (9-4)
Bellator Heavyweight Prelim Fight: Josh Diekmann (15-5) vs. Raphael Butler (8-1-1)
Bellator Middleweight Prelim Fight: Tamdan McCrory (12-3) vs. Jason Butcher (8-1)
Bellator Welterweight Prelim Fight: Neiman Gracie (2-0) vs. Bobby Flynn (4-2)
Bellator Bantamweight Prelim Fight: Marvin Maldonado (2-2) vs. Blair Tugman (6-5)
Dark Bout (approx. 11 p.m. ET)
Bellator Featherweight Dark Fight: Michael Mangan (2-0) vs. Dean Hancock (Pro Debut)