RAFAEL CARVALHO DEFENDS MIDDLEWIGHT TITLE AGAINST GEGARD MOUSASI IN NEW HEADLINER, WHILE ‘MVP’ TAKES ON DAVID RICKELS IN CO-MAIN
LOS ANGELES – Due to injury, Mirko Cro Cop can no longer compete in his highly anticipated Bellator debut at Bellator 200 against Roy Nelson. As a result, the Bellator 200 main event now sees reigning middleweight champ Rafael Carvalho (15-1) defend his title against top contender Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2) in a five-round affair, while the co-main event features undefeated British striker Michael “Venom” Page (12-0), better known as “MVP,” against David Rickels (19-4, 2 NC) at welterweight. Bellator 200 takes place Friday, May 25 at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London and will air on Paramount Network at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
The main card also includes former titleholder Phil Davis (18-4) taking on Linton Vassell (18-6) in a light heavyweight matchup and reality star turned MMA fighter Aaron Chalmers (3-0) making his promotional debut against fellow Brit Ash Griffiths (4-5). The remainder of the main card will be announced later this week.
Prior to the main card on Paramount Network, Bellator 200 will also feature plenty of exciting preliminary matchups showcasing many of the U.K.’s top young talent. The undefeated Anastasia Yankova (5-0) returns against the always-tough Kate Jackson (9-3-1), while a trio of former BAMMA champions are in action when former middleweight champion Mike Shipman (11-1) fights Carl Noon (7-2), former BAMMA featherweight kingpin Daniel Crawford (10-1) challenges Pedro Carvalho (6-3) and former BAMMA lightweight titlist Ryan Scope (11-1) faces Martyn Harris (4-4). Fans will see Bellator veteran Anatoly Tokov (25-3) clash with Vladimir Filipovic (10-2), SBG Ireland-product Charlie Ward (4-3) in action against Louis King (1-1) and Mousasi-trained prospect Costello van Steenis (9-1) meeting Kevin Fryer (6-2).