Bellator CEO Scott Coker heavily criticised Logan Storley’s lacklustre display at Bellator 281 against MVP
Bellator returned to action this Friday with their new card which took place on May 13, 2023 at SSE Arena in London, England. The main event featured a welterweight fight between hometown lad, Michael Page and Logan Storley for the interim Bellator welterweight championship.
Bellator’s welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov is currently in Ukraine defending his country from the Russian invasion, and this resulted in the match-up for the interim title between MVP and Storley. But much to the disappointment of the local English crowd, Storley wrestled his way to victory in a rather underwhelming display.
MVP started the bout in comfortable range, peppering Storley with kicks and few jabs. He circled the octagon away from Storley’s wrestling range, and the latter was dictating patience and making the right reads before exercising his game plan. One thing that has been missing from MVP’s arsenal is strong grappling skills, an area that Storley decided to target. And he did that efficiently by finally getting a hold of MVP, although the Brit showed great resilience in being held up on the mats. Although he could not menace or inflict damage from the bottom, he ensured that his opponent does not land any significant strikes either.
This sequence continued for the initial three rounds, while the crowd booed and jeered at Storley for his lacklustre display. In the limited exchanges on the feet, Paige managed to land some decent combinations, that caused some bruises under the eye of Storley. In the fourth round, which was Page’s best, he was finally able to avoid grappling exchanges for the larger period of the round , but he still gave up a takedown late in the fourth. When the fifth started, Storley quickly went back to work with the wrestling, and this time, he was able to get Page down and hold half-guard for some time. In the end, although Storley had controlled most of the fight, it was Page who had clearly did more damage. The judges did not choose to reward him for that, however, and Storley won a split decision with scores of 48-47, 47-48, and 49-46, to win his first world title.
Scott Coker lambasted Logan Storley for an underwhelming main event at Bellator 281
Scott Coker was furious with the way things played out in the main event, suggesting that MVP won the fight. It has been a long-standing debate in MMA, that the sport is gearing towards wrestling, which negates action and kills the excitement of a fight. He criticized Storley for not trying to work any submission attempts when he had MVP on the ground.
“Honestly, I thought that ‘MVP’ won that fight,” Coker in his post-fight media scrum. “And the reason why I say that, to me, it’s like, I was talking to my guys back home and they go, ‘Look, it’s close but we think MVP won.’ And I said, ‘Well, why do you say that?’ And they said, ‘Because half the round, he was striking. The other half, you can’t just lay on somebody.’ You’re not doing any damage. You’re not getting closer to a submission. You’re not creating any threat. You’re just laying on somebody — and to me, that’s not MMA.
“Control is one thing, but you can’t control somebody and just think that you’re going to win the fight,” Coker later added. “To me, it’s like, there’s certain things that have to happen, and wrestling alone is not going to be enough.”
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