Yaroslav Amosov couldn’t have had a better fight in his return to the cage in the main event of Bellator 291 in Dublin, unifying belts with a dominant decision over interim champion Logan Storley on Saturday night.
Amosov paused his career in 2022 to defend his native Ukraine from the Russian invasion; Storley capture the interim title in the meantime. Finally back in action, Amosov displayed a more complete game and picked Storley apart for five rounds nearly two and a half years after their first encounter.
Amosov connected at will with punches and kicks in the first couple of rounds and easily defended Storley’s takedown in the third stanza, clipping him on the feet and rocking him twice in rounds three and four, doing enough to win a decision and walk away as the best 170-pounder in the Bellator roster.
” One year ago yesterday, insane [Vladimir] Putin began a large war in my country,” Amosov stated in a post-fight interview. “He wants to kill kids and every person who is Ukranian. Thank you to the Ukranian army for defending my country, thank you to whoever helped my country. Please don’t forget what’s happening.”
The always electric Irish crowd had no reason to celebrate in the previous two bouts. Portugal’s Pedro Carvalho, who made Ireland home years ago after joining SBG team, had couldn’t stop Jeremy Kennedy’s grappling in the co-main event, ending on the bottom for most of the bout. Kennedy was unanimously voted in and Patricio Pitbull, featherweight champion, was next.
Bryce Logan also stunned the Irish crowd by delivering a vital bang during his lightweight fight with Peter Queally. Going in the cage winless in three Bellator appearances, Logan looked relaxed moments before the bell rang, even singing to Queally’s entrance song along with the crowd.
Queally tried to support him against the cage but Logan remained composed. Logan aimed at Queally’s body and landed a nasty elbow in the clinch, which made Queally very hurt. Logan continued to punish Queally until the referee gave up.
@BryceLogan23 lands a nasty elbow to stop @peterqueally.
#Bellator291 LIVE | @SHOsports | @BBCiPlayer | @VMSportIE pic.twitter.com/hqWWhpayKa
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) February 25, 2023
The sole female bout on the main card had featherweight Sinead Kavanagh avenging a 2018 loss to Janay Harding. Harding started better in a tight stand-up fight, but Kavanagh scored the most important strike in the second section. This rocked Harding to balance using a lefthand but was unable to make it to the finish. Kavanagh continued to counter in the last five minutes of the match, winning unanimously.
The main card opener Ciaran Clarke comfortably outgrappling short-notice replacement Leonardos Sinis for 15 minutes to improve to 7-0 as a professional, six of those taking place in Bellator Dublin shows. Sinis was on a two-fight winning streak going into his promotional debut, but the SBG featherweight relentlessly took him down multiple times over the course of the bout to win a decision.
Click here for complete Bellator 291 results.