Nottingham’s Paul Daley and Ireland’s James Gallagher also join main card at The SSE Arena, Wembley
Leading mixed martial arts promotion Bellator MMA today revealed it will be returning to The SSE Arena, Wembley in London on Saturday, June 22, with a blockbuster middleweight title fight headlining the card.
Bellator London: Mousasi vs. Lovato Jr. will see MMA legend and current Bellator middleweight champ Gegard Mousasi (45-6-2) defend his title, as he takes on undefeated Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Rafael Lovato Jr. (9-0) in front of a raucous crowd in the English capital.
Joining them on the card is British bad boy Paul “Semtex” Daley (40-17-2) and Irish prodigy James “The Strabanimal” Gallagher (8-1) looking to continue his rapid rise in the sport, who both take on opponents to be named at a future date. Further bouts and broadcast details are expected to be announced in the coming days.
Current Bellator middleweight champion Mousasi, who fights out of Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands, has cemented legendary status within the sport, having won titles with multiple promotions across a 53-fight career. Mousasi is riding high on an eight-fight winning streak, which has seen the 33-year-old win all three of his fights since joining Bellator in 2017. Having successfully defended his middleweight belt against Rory MacDonald at Bellator 206 in September, Mousasi will return to the scene of his first title triumph, fighting at The SSE Arena, Wembley, 13 months after being crowned the 185-lb. king.
Hoping to end Mousasi’s championship reign is the undefeated Oklahoma jiu-jitsu champion Rafael Lovato Jr. The 35-year-old has won all nine of his professional MMA bouts to date and knows that protecting his unbeaten record will see the belt change from Mousasi’s hands to his. Lovato Jr. has racked up five fights under the Bellator banner since making his debut in 2017 and is no stranger to a title fight, having won and defended the LFC middleweight belt before his move to Bellator. Prior to his MMA career, Lovato Jr. experienced an incredibly successful career in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, becoming just the second American to win the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship as a black belt. Fans can expect an electric clash to decide whether or not Lovato Jr. adds further honours to his trophy cabinet.
The veteran headliners will be preceded by one of the rising stars of the sport, SBG Dublin-fighter James Gallagher. The immensely popular Irishman has won fans from across the globe during his nine-fight professional career and recovered from his first setback in impressive fashion, submitting Steven Graham in the first round of his last fight, which took place in the main event of Bellator Dublin in February of this year. His return to the cage is certain to excite fans, with his opponent in London to be announced soon.
Additionally, Nottingham’s Daley returns to British soil with plans to entertain the London crowd once again. One of the U.K.’s most prolific strikers, “Semtex” looks to rebound from a razor-thin decision loss to Michael Page earlier this year and get back to his winning ways with a highlight reel-finish. With 30 of his wins coming by knockout, and victories over Lorenz Larkin, Brennan Ward and Jorge Masvidal, anything can happen when Daley steps inside the Bellator cage.
With a sell-out crowd expected on the night, Bellator London: Mousasi vs. Lovato Jr. promises to be an unforgettable night of MMA action for fans.
Further bout announcements are expected in the coming weeks.