By Donal Long
On Saturday the 25th of February, Bellator will return to Dublin for the 3rd time in exactly one year. Bellator 291 will feature their welterweight championship bout between Yaroslav Amosov and Logan Strorley. The MMA organisation returns to Dublin after a successful 2022 in the Irish capital. Bellator 275 and 285 were hits in Dublin. The prior featured the middleweight championship between Gegard Mousasi and Austin Vanderfield. While Bellator 285 would see MMA superstar Yoel Romero come to Dublin. Since coming to Ireland, Bellator have been known for putting on great cards with electric crowds, and they look to do the same in 2023.
Welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov (26-0) will look to defend his belt against American fighter Logan Storley (14-1) in a rematch. Storley’s only loss on his professional record comes at the hand of Amosov, after he lost on a split decision in December 2020. Following the win, Amosov went on to dethrone Douglas Lima to claim the welterweight belt. He now faces his first title defence against a former foe in Storley, who is on a three fight win streak which would see him win the interim belt.
Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA
Bellator 291 is not all about the main event. There is plenty of talent down the card, including a top quality co-main event. In what may serve as a number one contender bout, Pedro Carvalho (ranked 3rd) will take on Jeremey Kennedy (ranked 5th). This will feel like a homely affair for Carvalho as he trains in SBG Dublin. Carvalho is coming off a decision win, while Kennedy is coming off two wins via decision and injury TKO.
Photo courtesy of Sky Sports News
The SBG representation does not stop at Carvalho either. Fan favourites Sinead Kavanagh and Peter Queally will take on Janay Harding and Bryce Logan respectively. Kavangh bounced back from her knockout loss against Cris Cyborg with a win over Leah McCourt. She will look to add on that win to help propel herself back into title contention. Peter Queally is also looking to return to title contention as he is returning from back to back losses against Benson Henderson and Patricio Pitbull. He will face Bryce Logan, who is 0-4 in his Bellator career.
Photo courtesy of Dublin Live
Joining them on the main card is Irish prospect Ciaran Clarke. Fighting out of Drogheda, Clarke is 6-0 with four finishes. He will face Scottish fighter Keir Harvie, who has a professional career of 4-1.
The prelims of Bellator 291 are also filled with Irish talent. There are six Irish fighters within the earlier stages of the night. The prelims are made up as such:
Karl Moore* (10-2) vs Maciej Rozanski (14-3) – Light Heavyweight
Charlie Ward* (10-5) vs Michael Shipman (14-4) – Middleweight
Brian Moore* (15-9) vs Luca Iovine (15-8) – Bantamweight
Oliver Enkamp (11-3) vs Luca Poclit (7-1) – Welterweight
Richie Smullen* (9-2-1) vs Piotr Niedzielski (17-4) – Featherweight
Gokhan Saricam (8-1) vs Oleg Popov (14-1) – Heavyweight
Norbert Novenyi Jr. (5-0) vs Andy Manzolo (22-8) – Middleweight
Darragh Kelly* (2-0) vs Dorval Jordan (2-2) – Featherweight