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23rd Feb 2019

Charlie Ward takes prelim anger out on opponent with show-stealing left hook

There was no repeat of Conor McGregor's cage-jumping antics this time around

Darragh Murphy

Charlie Ward was clearly unhappy about his place on the preliminary card of Bellator’s return to Dublin.

Ward, who rebounded from his two UFC defeats with a pair of first round knockouts in Bellator, took all frustration out on the chin of opponent Jamie Stephenson when the pair met in the final prelim on Saturday night.

Fresh from news of Sky Sports’ broadcast deal with Bellator, Ward was raging about not getting the added exposure and punished Stephenson with the most brutal knockout of the night.

All it took was 44 seconds for Ward to fake with the right hand before uncorking a left hook from hell on his English opponent, sending the 3Arena into rapturous applause.

Ward’s close friend and long-time teammate Conor McGregor was not in attendance, meaning there was no repeat of the cage-jumping antics which marred Ward’s Bellator debut.

But ‘Relentless’ made it very clear that he felt he was overlooked when he was not given a main card slot this weekend.

“Why the fuck wasn’t I on the main card?” Ward asked post-fight before he echoed many fans’ beliefs by confirming his permanent home at middleweight following some tough cuts to 170lbs.

Cynics might say that Ward only got his chance in the UFC due to his close relationship with ‘The Notorious’ but it would be impossible to take away from him his three early knockouts since his switch to Bellator.

It might be a good idea to put him on the main card next time out though…