This past Friday in the headliner of Bellator 296 from Paris, we saw a middleweight title eliminator. Former champion Gegard Mousasi (49-9-2) was looking for his 50th win while avoiding back-to-back losses as he took on Fabian Edwards (12-2).
Entering 2020, Fabian Edwards was unbeaten. The brother of UFC champion Leon Edwards looked like he was going to be the first potential Edwards to capture a world title. However, he suffered back-to-back losses which held him back.
However, two strong performances in a row including a knockout over Lyoto Machida earned him this shot against the former champion in Mousasi. Throughout Mousasi’s incredible career, he had never lost back-to-back fights. While he knows the end of his career is near, he was still the big favorite entering Friday.
However, Fabian Edwards just had his number. From dominant striking on the feet to getting good positions on the ground, Edwards was in full control to the surprise of many at Bellator 296. When the scores were read, it was a lopsided decision win for Edwards and Mousasi suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in his historic career.
Fallout from Bellator 296
After the fight was over, Johnny Eblen (13-0) made his way into the cage. The Bellator middleweight champion had a face off with his newest challenger. In addition to the face off, it was announced when these two would be fighting.
Edwards will get to fight in Europe was again as Bellator will be returning to Dublin in September. The promotion will be heading back on September 23rd and the main event will feature the title fight between Eblen and Edwards. Despite the dominant performance by Edwards, expect Eblen to be the big betting favorite come fight night.
In addition to the main event, former welterweight champion Douglas Lima (33-11) was in action as he moved up to 185 pounds to take on Costello Van Steenis (14-3). Lima was successful in avoiding his fifth straight loss as he won a unanimous decision.
In the co-main event, we saw a quarterfinal matchup in the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix. Brent Primus (12-3) and France’s Mansour Barnaoui (20-5) battled it out. After a tough five-round war, the former champion Primus got his hand raised earning him a spot in the semifinals and a lightweight title shot against Usman Nurmagomedov.