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, crazy [Vladimir] Putin started a big war in my country,” Amosov said in his 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 won via unanimous decision and called out featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull next.
Bryce Logan also silenced the Irish crowd with a much-needed bang in his lightweight bout 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.
The two traded punches with Queally attempting to back him up against the cage, but Logan kept composed and managed to secure the stoppage midway through the second round, aiming at the body before landing a vicious elbow in the clinch that dropped Queally hurt bad. Logan kept punishing until referee decided it was enough.
The sole female bout on the main card had featherweight Sinead Kavanagh avenging a 2018 loss to Janay Harding. Harding had a better start in a close stand-up battle but Kavanagh landed the best strike of the match in the second stanza, rocking Harding off balance with a left hand but unable to get close to a finish. Kavanagh kept countering in the final five minutes to win an unanimous decision.
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.