Bellator Belfast: Fabian Edwards Wins Grindfest Over Aaron Jeffery in Middleweight Title Eliminator

Fabian Edwards and Aaron Jeffery, Bellator Belfast
Fabian Edwards and Aaron Jeffery, Bellator Belfast Credit: Bellator MMA

An official middleweight title eliminator at Friday’s Bellator Belfast found England’s Fabian Edwards paired up against Canadian standout Aaron Jeffery.

There was no need to point out the importance of the fight for these two, with a shot at champ Johnny Eblen hanging in the balance.

Early on, the pair went to work along the fence, jockeying for position. While Fabian would get his opponent to a knee, the takedown wasn’t completed, and Jeffery stood back up, getting back in the driver’s seat.

Not a lot of action through the first ninety seconds, with the ref taking a good look at the pair but allowing them to continue. Jeffery would briefly get double underhooks, and fire shoulder strikes and knees, drawing a complaint of a low blow, though the referee had them fight on.

The bit of action the did play out off the fence saw Edwards land a left, which Jeffery answered back with elbows.

Round two started off in similar fashion, but when they came off the fence, Edwards stumbled off a Jeffery kick. Fabian then changed levels to pursue a takedown, but couldn’t land it; Aaron Jeffery instead reversed position and pressed Edwards against the cage. Edwards did manage to reverse the position, but was warned for grabbing the fence.

Edwards then wisely broke, found some distance and landed his left jab once, then twice. A cut opened up on the Canadian. But Jeffery soon re-engaged, clinching up once more. Late in the round, however, Edwards managed to scale the back, getting a body lock in place and briefly riding his opponent before sliding off. Jeffery then walked forward, only to be hit with another Edwards left hand, not to mention an uppercut.

Round three saw a couple of early exchanges with Edwards once again landing his left, while Jeffery tried to tie things up. The Canadian then smashed Edwards with an upwards elbow as he closed the distance, but Edwards reversed position along the fence and landed a throw. Jeffery, however, reversed position immediately and the pair went right back to the feet.

Much of the remaining time was spent in a grinding, grappling heavy affair along the fence. With about 25 seconds left on the clock, Edwards escaped, but was quickly pressed back up into the cage once again, with Jeffery landing more knees.

The judges sided with Fabian Edwards unanimously, two rounds to one. That books him a rematch with Eblen later in the year.

Official Result: Fabian Edwards def. Aaron Jeffery by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)