Michael Page treated Giovanni Melillo with utter contempt and disdain.
The charismatic London Shootfighters star cut down Melillo with an overhand right in the first round of their Bellator London headliner on Saturday at the SSE Arena Wembley. A short-notice replacement for Derek Anderson, Melillo (13-5, 0-1 Bellator) hit the deck 1:47 into Round 1 and became the latest victim in the Brit’s brilliant run through the Bellator MMA welterweight division.
Page (16-1, 12-1 Bellator) backed up the Italian with a variety of kicks and explosive punching bursts, as he made sure he broke a sweat before moving in for the kill. Melillo was met with a crushing counter right hand while trying to throw a leg kick and fell backward in an unconscious heap. Page raised his arms in triumph, knowing his night’s work was done.
In the middleweight co-main event, undefeated Ultimate Training Centre prospect Fabian Edwards eked out a split decision over former British Association of Mixed Martial Arts champion Mike Shipman after 15 emotionally charged minutes. Scores were 29-28 for Shipman, 29-28 and 30-27 for Edwards.
Business picked up after an uneventful first round. Shipman (13-3, 4-2 Bellator) executed a takedown roughly a minute into the middle stanza, neutralized his counterpart on the ground and later sprawled out of an ill-advised takedown attempt from the 26-year-old. Edwards (9-0, 5-0 Bellator) upped the aggression in Round 3, where he rattled the London Shootfighters standout with short elbows, uppercuts and punching combinations. He punctuated the victory in the waning moments, as he powered into top position against the fading Shipman.
Meanwhile, repeated double-leg takedowns, suffocating control and effective ground-and-pound carried former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder Soren Bak to a unanimous decision over Terry Brazier in a three-round lightweight showcase. All three judges scored it for Bak (13-1, 1-0 Bellator): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Brazier (11-3, 1-2 Bellator) staggered the Dane with a counter right hand roughly 90 seconds into the first round but failed to fully exploit the opening. Bak punched into the clinch, reset and secured the first of several takedowns. He achieved full mount on multiple occasions, attempted a few submissions and piled up points with elbows and short elbows. Brazier’s frustration intensified with each passing second, as he was forced to come to terms with the reality of his situation.
Bak, 27, has rattled off six consecutive victories.
In other action, Denise Kielholtz (4-2, 4-1 Bellator) submitted Sabriye Sengul (0-1, 0-1 Bellator) with a keylock 32 seconds into the first round of their featured women’s flyweight prelim; Tim Wilde (13-4, 1-1 Bellator) picked up a unanimous decision over Charlie Leary (16-11-1, 2-2 Bellator) in a three-round lightweight match, netting 29-28 marks from all three cageside judges; Pietro Penini (9-1-1, 1-0 Bellator) recorded a unanimous decision over Charlie Ward (7-4, 4-1 Bellator) in a three-round skirmish at 185 pounds, securing 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 scorecards from the judges; Robert Whiteford (16-4, 1-0 Bellator) dispatched Sam Sicilia (17-11, 2-3 Bellator) with punches 4:54 into the third round of their featherweight tiff; Lewis Long (17-5, 1-0 Bellator) submitted Walter Gahadza (18-5, 2-2 Bellator) with a rear-naked choke 1:44 into the first round of their bout at 170 pounds; Chris Bungard (15-5, 2-1 Bellator) subdued Benjamin Brander (11-7, 0-1 Bellator) with a rear-naked choke 1:26 into the first round of their lightweight battle; Kent Kauppinen (12-5, 2-2 Bellator) tapped Andy Manzolo (22-7, 0-1 Bellator) with a forearm choke 3:53 into the first round of their middleweight contest; Alfie Davis (13-3, 3-0 Bellator) was awarded a unanimous verdict over Alessandro Botti (15-11, 0-2 Bellator) in a three-round catchweight tussle at 160 pounds, eliciting 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 scores from the judges; Kevin Fryer (8-3, 2-1 Bellator) captured a unanimous decision from George Tokkos (4-1, 0-1 Bellator) in a three-round middleweight encounter, prompting 30-27 scores across the board; Aiden Lee (8-4, 1-1 Bellator) submitted Damian Frankiewicz (9-3, 0-1 Bellator) with a rear-naked choke 1:24 into the third round of their featherweight confrontation; Jeremy Petley (13-8-1, 3-0 Bellator) pocketed a unanimous decision over Tom Mearns (6-3, 0-2 Bellator) in a three-round catchweight clash at 150 pounds, earning 29-28 marks from all three judges; Harry Hardwick (5-2, 1-0 Bellator) took a majority decision -- 29-28, 29-28, 28-28 -- from Nathan Rose (7-3, 1-2 Bellator) in a three-round featherweight scrap; Akonne Wanliss (4-1, 2-0 Bellator) rendered Tim Barnett (7-4-1, 0-1 Bellator) unconscious with a brabo choke 56 seconds into the first round of their lightweight affair; Raphael Uchegbu (2-0, 2-0 Bellator) submitted Shane Campbell (0-1, 0-1 Bellator) with a rear-naked choke 2:33 into the third round of their bantamweight tilt; and Charlotte McIntyre (1-0, 1-0 Bellator) stopped Josie Blaber (1-1, 0-1 Bellator) with punches 2:00 into the second round of their women’s featherweight pairing.