The Bellator 262 prelims had some exciting performances and showcased a few of the top up-and-comers in the promotion. Three of these fighters were able to steal the spotlight, producing some electric finishes to put their name on the map.
Take a closer look at these fighters and what they have in store for the future.
Bellator 262 Prelim Standouts
Charlie Campbell picked up a big win over Nick Giulietti during the Bellator 262 prelims. Campbell won in his Bellator debut but was not offered a long-term contract by the promotion. Campbell then went on to fight for CFFC and earned a win back in February. Bellator offered him this fight and he showed up determined to make a statement. In the first round, Campbell did have to deal with some adversity. Giulietti landed a takedown a minute into the round and threatened Campbell with submission attempts and heavy ground and pound. Campbell weathered the storm and got back to his feet with a minute left in the round. Not wasting any time, Campbell started to pour it on, landing several kicks to the body and finishing the round strong.
Opening the second round, Campbell stuffed an early takedown attempt from a visibly fatigued Giulietti. Campbell continued to work the body, backing Giulietti up against the cage and getting the stoppage after dropping him with a liver shot. Campbell gave a spirited post-fight interview with John McCarthey, shouting out his teammates and coaches at Longo and Weidman MMA. Campbell made sure to let Bellator know that he’s here to stay and that they need to sign him to a long-term contract. He also used his time on the mic to call out internet sensation turned prizefighter Jake Paul, it’s not likely this pans out but it is nice to see fighters trying to capitalize on their performances.
Cody Law continued to show that he is one of the best prospects in the Bellator promotion, producing a first-round knockout win over Theodore Macuka on the Bellator 262 prelims. The American Top Team standout has had a successful start to his MMA career, notching wins in each of his first three fights. Law was a (-1200) favorite going into this fight so expectations were set pretty high for the 26-year-old prospect. As soon as the opening bell rang, you could tell that Law was just on a different level than his opponent. After trading low kicks for the first minute of the fight, Law landed a beautiful lead high kick that landed flush. Law then started to unload on Macuka once he had him backed up against the cage, landing heavy punches in combinations.
Referee Kerry Hatley was forced to step in after Law landed numerous unanswered shots, giving him the TKO victory. Law seems to have a complete skill set, which is very impressive considering he is only four fights into his career. If Law can continue to improve his striking, mixed with his already stellar wrestling game, there’s no reason as to why he won’t be challenging for a world title soon. Training at American Top Team and being surrounded by the best of the best every day will help Law elevate his game to high levels. Already getting high praise from ATT owner Dan Lambert, it seems the sky’s the limit for Cody Law. Bellator has done a great job recently of acquiring young talent, and Law is just the start of a wave of prospects under the Bellator banner.
Closing out the Bellator 262 prelims, we had a heavyweight clash between Said Sowma and Ronny Markes. Sowma was looking to get back in the win column after losing to Tyrell Fortune in his Bellator debut. Being a smaller heavyweight Sowma brings a different set of skills to the cage than most other heavyweights. His competitive swimming background gives him a cardio advantage over most of his opponents and his smaller frame offers him a speed advantage as well. With that being said, Sowma showed in this fight that although he is a smaller heavyweight, he still has one-punch knockout power. Both fighters were being patient in the first minute, in a feeling process that took a swift turn. Sowma said after the fight that he noticed that when he tried to close the distance, Markes would circle the cage to maintain that space.
Sowma saw this and decided to close the distance by grabbing Markes lead hand and throwing a left hook that caught Markes clean on the chin and put him out on contact. A very impressive finish for Sowma to get his first win inside the Bellator cage. Sowma said after the fight that he believes a win over a tough veteran like Markes, should earn him a spot in the top 10 of the Bellator heavyweight rankings. Like Cody Law, Sowma also trains at American Top Team. He said that having a team environment around him at the fight was very helpful and a “good feeling” having his teammates around him. Not taking much damage during the fight Sowma said that he would like to come back and compete as fast as he can. Sowma will be a fighter to watch in this Bellator heavyweight division, which has had a recent spark of life with the crowning of a new champion in Valentin Moldavsky.
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Featured Image Credits To Bellator MMA