Bellator 291 is set for this Saturday with a huge international fight card from Dublin, Ireland. In the main event, Welterweight Champion Yaroslav Amosov will return to the Bellator cage after nearly two years away. Amosov is a citizen of Ukraine and chose to take time away from the sport to courageously help his native country’s war efforts. Amosov will face a familiar foe in his return however in Logan Storley. Storley and Amosov previously met in 2020 in a number one contender match that ended in a split decision. Amosov won that fight and would go on to dethrone former champion Douglas Lima shortly thereafter. Also on the main card, ranked Featherweights will clash when #5 Jeremey Kennedy takes on #3 Pedro Carvahlo. Bellator 291 can be seen on Showtime starting at 4 p.m. ET.
(C) Yaroslav Amosov (26-0) vs (IC) Logan Storley (14-1)
The Bellator Welterweight Championship will be Unified in Dublin, Ireland. Champion Yaroslav Amosov has been on active duty in the Ukraine military defending his country but will return in the main event. Amosov is an undefeated phenom whose last fight was his title victory in June 2021. Amosov is now 29 years old and is training regularly again ahead of his rematch with dominant wrestler Logan Storley. Storley captured the Interim title while Amosov was absent and has won three fights in a row beating notable contenders at 170 pounds Neiman Gracie and Michael “Venom” Page.
Amosov narrowly won a split decision in a back-and-forth contest in their first fight. Both fighters are dominant grapplers who smother their opponents through pressure and control on the ground. Storley was a 4x All-American wrestler at the University of Minnesota whose only loss in professional MMA came against Amosov. Amosov is a four-time world champion in Combat Sambo who is currently #4 in the Bellator pound-for-pound rankings. Since making a move to Bellator in 2018, Amosov is (7-0).
This fight may play out much like the first contest. Since both fighters are so good on the ground, this matchup could be contested primarily on the feet. While striking, Amosov is not a power puncher but sets up his shots well to find takedowns. Storley isn’t known for his striking but is physically strong and possesses knockout power if he lands clean. My biggest question in this fight is Amosov’s time away from the cage. Since Amosov’s departure, Storley has continued to face world-class competition and has made improvements in his striking with each performance.
If I had to predict the main event of Bellator 291 I would take Logan Storley by decision. Storley hasn’t lost since their first fight and has improved with each fight. Amosov is currently a (-170) favorite but could experience “ring rust” in return. The timing of Amosov could be diminished in this fight due to a lack of repetition. Storley should be able to take Amosov down but will need to be careful of the submission attempts from the champion. Amosov has finished 19 fights in his career, 10 by submission. Storley could outwrestle Amosov to a decision victory, like he did against Page and Gracie in 2022. In Storley’s 10 fights with the promotion, he has been to a decision in seven. This will be an extremely competitive matchup for the Welterweight championship and could very well be Fight of the Night.
Pedro Carvalho (13-6) vs Jermey Kennedy (18-3)
In a matchup of ranked Featherweight contenders #3 Pedro Carvalho will face #5 Jeremey Kennedy. Carvalho is a former title challenger at 145 pounds who has won two of his last three fights. Kennedy recently defeated highly touted prospect Aaron Pico after his shoulder came out of place mid-fight. This earned Kennedy a TKO victory and propelled him into the top five rankings. Carvalho is a well-rounded fighter proven to be dangerous wherever the fight takes place. Kennedy is a former UFC competitor who ran into Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski for his first professional loss. Since leaving the UFC, Kennedy has secured victories in many high-level MMA promotions, including Bellator, PFL, and the UFC.
This is an exciting stylistic matchup between the heavy-handed Kennedy and Carvalho, who should look to utilize his grappling in this contest. Carvalho has six submission victories on his record but must be physically strong enough to take Kennedy down. Kennedy has an aggressive style and may try to catch Carvalho early, who has lost by knockout twice since 2020.
Bellator 291 Prelims:
The Bellator 291 Prelims are filled with many potentially entertaining matchups. Irish countryman and fan favorite Peter Queally (13-7) will return to the 3 Arena after losing to former UFC champion Benson Henderson in Dublin last September. Queally garners tremendous crowd support in his home country and will have the arena rocking early against Bryce Logan (12-7). Also on the Bellator 291 prelims Karl Moore (10-2) will fight Maciej Rozanski (14-3) in an interesting Light Heavyweight contest. Moore is coming off the best win of his career defeating ranked 205-pounder Karl Albrektsson by submission. Rozanski has only had one fight in Bellator but will bring an impressive record into this contest including nine submission victories. The Bellator prelims will be live and free on YouTube at noon ET.
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