Bellator 158: London represents the second significant step into the global market for Bellator MMA, which held its first event in Italy over the past weekend. Bellator president Scott Coker announced on ESPN’s SportsCenter that Slice vs. Thompson and Daley vs. Koscheck would be the two featured bouts at the The O2. The card will also feature Brits Michael “Venom” Page and Linton Vassell against opponents to be named at a later date.
Slice (real name Kevin Ferguson) headlines the London card despite failing his drug test at Bellator 149 in Houston in February. In defeating Dada 5000 (real name Dhafir Harris), Slice tested positive to nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, and an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio. He was put on an immediate 90-day suspension, but also faces a $5,000 fine and one-year license revocation.
“He was put on a 90-day suspension outside of Texas, which will be ending sometime in May,” Coker said on SportsCenter, explaining why Bellator chose to put Slice in the London main event. “So he’ll be cleared and ready to fight by July.
“We go by what the athletic commission says. We don’t want to get into the rules and regulations and testing procedures because every state has its own regulations and punishments. So it’s a little tricky. If there was a national federation or national association with rules and regulations across the board that every state abided by, that’d be one thing, but for us, every state is different.”
Slice and Thompson fought under the EliteXC banner eight years. A punch by Slice exploded Thompson’s cauliflower ear, which led him to a third round TKO stoppage.
Daley and Koscheck first met at UFC 113, where Koscheck won a unanimous decision. Shortly after being separated by the referee at the end of the fight, Koscheck turned to walk away and Daley sucker punched him in the face. That led to Daley’s expulsion from the UFC, and the bad blood has never subsided.