Former Champ Phil Davis Meets Linton Vassell at Bellator 200
Bellator MMA returns to London, England on May 25th. The promotion’s 200th event will take place at the SSE Arena, and it was recently announced that the card would be gaining some local talent. A light heavyweight title eliminator between former champion Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis (18-4 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) and England’s own Linton “The Swarm” Vassell (18-6 MMA, 7-3 BMMA) is set for the historic Bellator 200 event.
#Bellator200 is heating up! 🔥
Tickets go on sale Friday. pic.twitter.com/UM4q5usDeb
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) February 27, 2018
Phil Davis, the former Bellator light heavyweight champion, joined the promotion in 2015. A thirteen-fight UFC veteran, the NCAA DI champion from Pennsylvania State University quickly made a home for himself in Bellator MMA. Davis rattled off three straight victories in the promotion upon earning a title shot against then-champion Liam McGeary. In a stifling performance, Davis defeated McGeary on the scorecards to capture the title.
However, former opponent and fellow ex-UFC star Ryan Bader signed with Bellator in 2017 and earned an immediate title shot against Davis. The two had fought in the UFC in Davis’ final bout with the promotion. In both fights, Bader was able to come away with split-decision victories. With Bader as the new Bellator light heavyweight champion, Davis bounced back with a unanimous nod over Brazilian Leo Leite. Davis will look to continue his momentum as he looks to inch closer to regaining his title.
Davis faces stiff competition in the form of England native Linton Vassell. A longtime Bellator mainstay, Vassell has faced the best the promotion has to over. Vassell faced Bader in Bader’s first championship defense, where he suffered a second-round TKO loss. As of late, Vassell has been actively campaigning for another fight, although then with surging prospect Vadim Nemkov. But a fight with Davis, now confirmed by Bellator itself, could offer Vassell a chance to challenge for the title again with a victory.
Overall, the matchup between Davis and Vassell should be a highly entertaining bout and adds local flair to Bellator 200’s London-based event. With both fighters sharing championship contention pedigrees, it is quite possible the winner of this fight faces Bader (for a second time) for the Bellator MMA light heavyweight title.
The monumental card now includes:
- Rafael Carvalho vs. Gegard Mousasi (for the middleweight title)
- Linton Vassell vs. Phil Davis
- Michael Page vs. David Rickels