HONOLULU – The pre-fight necessities are in the books for the first of two Bellator events this week, and all that’s left to do is fight.
The Bellator 278 fighters got face to face for the first and only time, officially at least, at Thursday’s ceremonial weigh-ins. Included in that mix were headliners Juliana Velasquez (12-0 MMA, 7-0 BMMA) and Liz Carmouche (16-7 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), who fight for Velasquez’s women’s flyweight title.
The two shared a perhaps surprisingly tense faceoff that left the challenger grinning at the champ, who refused to give anything but a scowl.
The most intense faceoff was between Christian Edwards (5-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) and Grant Neal (6-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA), who meet in a light heavyweight bout on the main card. Stage manager Burt Watson could be seen telling Neal to keep his cool before he got to the faceoff, then was heard telling the two to save it for when they get paid.
Another no-backing-down moment came in the form of one of two bantamweight grand prix wild card bouts. Jornel Lugo (8-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) and Danny Sabatello (11-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) were not shy at Wednesday’s media day talking about how much they disliked each other, and that showed in their faceoff.
Friday’s card at Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu is exclusively for military members and first responders. It is the first of back-to-back Bellator events in Hawaii’s capital city. The main card airs on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Check out all the faceoffs for Bellator 278 in the video above.