Costello van Steenis Edges Fabian Edwards via Split Decision in Bellator Milan Headliner

By: Tudor Leonte
Sep 26, 2020

Costello van Steenis knocked Fabian Edwards from the ranks of the unbeaten at Bellator Milan on Saturday at Allianz Cloud in Milan, Italy. It was Bellator’s first event in Europe since the COVID-19 outbreak.  

The middleweight contenders studied each other for the majority of the first stanza, but it looked like it was van Steenis (13-2) who deserved to take the round home, as he landed several brutal leg kicks on Edwards’ (9-1) lead leg. In the second frame, "The Spaniard" landed the first takedown of the match, dragging Edwards into a sticky situation thanks to an almost-closed guillotine choke attempt. In the last few seconds of Round 2, van Steenis landed several heavy shots of ground-and-pound that almost ended the contest.

Those shots took their toll in the third stanza, as van Steenis slowed his pace down. Edwards took advantage of the situation and, after dragging his opponent to the canvas thanks to an inside trip midway through the round, mauled "The Spaniard" for the rest of the time. Eventually, two out of three judges gave the victory to van Steenis. 

In the co-main event, Mike Shipman (14-3) and Pietro Penini (9-2-1, 1 NC) collided in a 185-pound affair. Shipman limited himself to the absolute minimum to win this fight, but it was enough to take home a unanimous decision victory. Shipman made Penini taste some of his notorious hard shots, while the Italian fighter attempted to counter with the right blow that never came. In the last minute of each round, Shipman also landed a takedown and dominated his opponent on the canvas. After Shipman, a former BAMMA champion, managed to snap a two-bout skid in victory.

In the opening main card contest, Will Fleury (8-3) edged Kent Kauppinen (12-6) after dominating his opponent on the canvas for all three rounds of their middleweight encounter. Eventually, all three judges rewarded Kauppinen with a well-deserved unanimous decision.

In preliminary action: George Hardwick (6-1) overcame Nicolo Solli (3-1) via unanimous decision at lightweight; Ion Pascu (19-10) edged Stefano Paterno (13-4-1) via unanimous decision at welterweight; Daniele Scatizzi (10-5) submitted Gavin Hughes (10-2) in the first round thanks to a slick guillotine choke at lightweight and Chiara Penco (5-2) stopped Aleksandra Toncheva Plamenova (2-2-1) via TKO at the 4:27 mark of the second round of a 115-pound clash. 

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