Last weekend in the headliner of Bellator 275, the middleweight title was on the line. Undefeated top prospect Austin Vanderford (11-1) was getting his shot against one of the best middleweights of all time in Gegard Mousasi (49-7-2).
For Mousasi, the question has never been about how good he is. The questions were always around how motivated he was. Mousasi has been sensational in Bellator and he’s only fallen once during his time with the promotion.
Austin Vanderford was expected to be a very game challenger at Bellator 275. His physical wrestling style could’ve presented problems for Mousasi if Mousasi wasn’t coming in completely motivated. However, Mousasi was motivated and that was a bad sign for Vanderford.
Immediately, Vanderford and Mousasi met in the center of the cage. Mousasi’s clean striking technique was touching Vanderford early in often. During one exchange, it became apparent that Mousasi wobbled Vanderford.
The challenger dove on Mousasi’s legs but Mousasi easily defended. Mousasi found himself in a dominant position and he was able to get the stoppage win to retain his Bellator middleweight championship.
What’s next after Bellator 275?
Gegard Mousasi is going to run into a problem at Bellator. It’s a problem that often happens to great fighters in shallow divisions. After easily defeating Austin Vanderford, there’s really nobody left for him to fight at 185 pounds.
Mousasi also has several fights left on his Bellator contract so there’s not much he can do in terms of moving around. I think the best move would be for Mousasi to move up to light heavyweight and that seems to be on his radar.
After his Bellator 275 win, Mousasi had mentioned that he would love to go up to 205. He would get an immediate title shot which will give him the chance to become a two division champion.
Next month, Corey Anderson and Vadim Nemkov will square off for the Bellator light heavyweight title. Given the state of both divisions, I think a fight with Mousasi and the winner would make sense for all parties involved.