Aaron Chalmers will return to his ‘Toon’ stomping ground next February when Bellator MMA run their debut event in Newcastle.
Bellator MMA Newcastle is set to take place at the Metro Radio Arena on Feb 9, the promotion today confirmed to the members of the press.
Chalmers won’t be the only North East fighter on the card, with the “Big Baby” taking centre stage in the headline act, as Ryan Scope (11-1) challenges Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (20-8) in a lightweight championship eliminator.
The event will be Bellator’s first in their European Fight Series, which follows on from their summer assault on the European market, which saw Bellator aggressively poach fighters from BAMMA and Cage Warriors, signing touted names like Terry Brazier, Norman Parke, Kiefer Crosbie and Dominique Wooding.
Of course, Bellator is looking to capitalise on the popularity of Aaron Chalmers in Newcastle, the city where he grew to fame as part of MTV reality show, Geordie Shore.
In recent months, “The Joker” has called for fights against CM Punk, Mike Jackson, Kevin ‘Baby Slice’ Ferguson Jr. and most recently, WWE Champion, Daniel Bryan.
The most likely out of that line-up was the son of the late Kevin ‘Kimbo Slice’ Ferguson, however, ‘Baby Slice’ suffered a shock defeat to Corey Browning at Bellator 207, with Tenessee native Browning winning after an onslaught of ground and pound.
That upset may have thrown a spanner into the works, with talks of Chalmers and ‘Baby Slice’ squaring off definitely a possibility from Bellator’s perspective.
They seem to have come to a viable alternative, though. Instead, Chalmers will fight ‘the man who beat the man’ on February 9, as 3-2 Browning steps up to the mark fresh off his victory, as first reported by Mike Morgan of WHOATV.
The return of Chalmers means he will once again grace the Bellator MMA cage after almost 10-months of fighting inactivity due to a legal battle with former home organisation, BAMMA.
Court case aside, his last bout inside a cage dates back to May 25 on the monumental Bellator 200 event from London, England, where he choked out Ash Griffiths in the first round with a standing guillotine to rise to 4-0 with four finishes.
In the Bellator MMA Newcastle main event, the North East’s Ryan Scope faces one-time Bellator MMA lightweight title challenger, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.
Scope, a former BAMMA lightweight title-holder, signed with Bellator in February, months after winning the then-vacant BAMMA title against Mickael Lebout on December 15. That fight took place in Newcastle as part of the BAMMA 33 card and marks the last time any major promotion has run the North East market.
His opponent for February 9, the “Pitbull” has competed against some of the most decorated champions in MMA history, having fought the likes of Michael Chandler, Eddie Alvarez and Benson Henderson. The Brazilian is currently on a four-fight win streak, with three of those wins coming by KO/TKO.
With the positioning of this fight at the top of the card, it likely means the victor will receive a future crack at the Bellator lightweight championship, currently held by Brent Primus. That could change, however, with Primus set to defend his title against former champion, Chandler at Bellator 212.
A win for Scope; and a potential title challenge in sight, would be significant for the Brit, with the possibility he could become the first man to win a major championship in BAMMA and Bellator MMA.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 9 a.m. GMT and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.co.uk and Bellator.com, as well as the Metro Radio Arena box office.