Bellator booking middleweight title fight between Gegard Mousasi and Johnny Eblen

Gegard Mousasi

Bellator has finalized it’s next title match in the middleweight division. Ariel Helwani was the first to report earlier today that the promotion was targeting a middleweight title fight between the champion Gegard Mousasi (49-7-2) and undefeated challenger Johnny Eblen (11-0).

We now know that the fight is done and it will take place in June. The finer details are still being worked out, but Johnny Eblen is getting his crack at the champion Gegard Mousasi.

Eblen just fought back at Bellator 276 a little over a week ago. That night, he took on John Salter in a big fight for the middleweight division. Eblen was able to defeat Salter and establish himself as the number one contender.

The American Top Team product first came onto the Bellator scene back in 2019 when he was just 4-0. Since joining the promotion, he’s gone 7-0 which has positioned him perfectly to take on arguably the most decorated champion the promotion has to offer.

Bellator Middleweight Title Fight

Make no mistake about it, when talking about the best middleweights in the world, you have to mention Gegard Mousasi. Mousasi has been in every major promotion and he’s won big fights every where he’s gone.

He’s also won world championships in every organization outside of the UFC including Bellator where he currently reigns. Since joining Bellator back in 2017, Mousasi has nearly been perfect.

Overall, he’s gone 7-1 with the lone loss coming to Rafael Lovato Jr. However, he bounced back strong after that loss and he’s won four straight to regain the Bellator title and defend it.

The last time we saw him was last month when he took on Austin Vanderford in Ireland. Mousasi made quick work of the then undefeated challenger and stopped him in under 90 seconds. It was a massive statement by the Bellator champion.

Now, he’s getting another young and undefeated challenger. Will Eblen suffer the same fate? We will find out in June.

After defending his title at Bellator 275, what’s next for Gegard Mousasi?

Gegard Mousasi

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.

Gegard Mousasi demolishes Austin Vanderford at Bellator 275

Gegard Mousasi

In the main event of Bellator 275, the middleweight title was on the line. The champion Gegard Mousasi (48-7-2) was looking to defend his title against the surging top contender Austin Vanderford (11-0).

Mousasi has gone 11-1 over his last 12 fights and that includes winning the Bellator middleweight title. The last time we saw Mousasi was back in August when he stopped John Salter in the third round to retain his title.

A few years ago, Austin Vanderford appeared on Dana White’s Contender Series and got a finish. However, the UFC didn’t offer him a contract. Their loss has been Bellator’s gain.

Since being signed by Bellator, Vanderford has stormed through all five of his opponents using his dominant wrestling. Those wins have brought him to Dublin, Ireland where he was looking to become middleweight champion.

Bellator 275 Recap

Round 1

The Bellator 275 main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Mousasi takes the center and starts working feints early on. Vanderford comes in and lands a nice right hand and just misses with a left hook.

Huge 1-2 for Mousasi and he lands a big right hand right behind it. These two are just trading in the center right now. Front kick lands for Mousasi. Nice jab lands for Mousasi and he lands a left hook behind it. Vanderford is on wobbly legs.

Mousasi going after him and Vanderford shoots for a desperate takedown. The champion defends well and gets dominant position on top. Huge elbows from Mousasi and the referee stops it. Gegard Mousasi just made it look easy at Bellator 275.

Gegard Mousasi def. Austin Vanderford by TKO – Round 1

Bellator 275 Preview: Gegard Mousasi – Austin Vanderford

Gegard Mousasi

Tomorrow afternoon in the main event of Bellator 275, the middleweight title will be on the line. The champion Gegard Mousasi (48-7-2) will be looking to defend his title against the surging top contender Austin Vanderford (11-0).

It goes without saying that Gegard Mousasi has been one of the very best middleweights in the world for a very long time. He’s had a decorated career where he’s been a champion in just about every organization outside of his run in the UFC.

Mousasi has gone 11-1 over his last 12 fights and that includes winning the Bellator middleweight title. The last time we saw Mousasi was back in August when he stopped John Salter in the third round to retain his title.

He’s going to have his hands full tomorrow night as he looks to turn away top contender Austin Vanderford. A few years ago, Vanderford appeared on Dana White’s Contender Series and got a finish. However, the UFC didn’t offer him a contract.

Their loss has been Bellator’s gain. Since being signed by Bellator, Vanderford has stormed through all five of his opponents using his dominant wrestling. Those wins have brought him to Dublin, Ireland where he will look to become middleweight champion.

Bellator 275 Prediction

This is really an intriguing main event tomorrow at Bellator 275. On paper, the paths to victory look relatively clear. For Vanderford, he has to land takedowns. If he’s forced to stand with Mousasi, it’s going to be a rough night at the office.

On the flip side, Mousasi needs to try to keep this fight standing. Although, he’s pretty dangerous wherever the fight goes and he can hold his own on the ground. So what is going to happen tomorrow?

I’m curious to see the pace that Vanderford pushes early. We know that Mousasi can go all five rounds with no problem. He’s done that so many times. However, we haven’t seen that from Vanderford.

I wouldn’t be shocked to see Vanderford push hard early and have success at Bellator 275. However, I wonder how he will hold up in the championship rounds. I think we might see a very tired Austin Vanderford in the fourth and fifth round which could spell disaster.

I really do like Austin Vanderford as a fighter, but it’s hard to bet against Mousasi. He’s been one of the very best for so long and I think he’ll do enough to get the win tomorrow. I think it’s close, but Mousasi retains the title at Bellator 275.

Prediction: Gegard Mousasi by Unanimous Decision

Bellator 264 Preview: Who will walk away middleweight champion?

Tonight, Bellator 264 takes place and the middleweight championship is on the line. One of the best and most underrated middleweights in the world, Gegard Mousasi (47-7-2) is back to defend his title against John Salter (18-4).

Gegard Mousasi is one of the rare instances where a fighter left the UFC for Bellator on a high note. Mousasi signed with Bellator after leaving the UFC on a five-fight win streak including a TKO victory over Chris Weidman.

Since coming over to Bellator, Mousasi has gone 5-1 with the lone loss coming against Rafael Lovato Jr by Split Decision. Since that loss where Mousasi lost his middleweight crown, he’s bounced back with wins over Lyoto Machida and Douglas Lima.

The man who will try to become Bellator middleweight champion tonight is John Salter. Salter will enter the cage on a three-fight win streak. The last time we saw him was at Bellator 244 when he won by third round arm triangle over Andrew Kapel.

Bellator 264 Prediction

When you look at this fight it’s all going to come down to the takedown. There is really no secret to John Salter’s game plan this evening. He’s going to try to come forward with pressure and he’s going to try and take down Gegard Mousasi.

That is the one path to victory for Salter. Salter has the ground skills to control Mousasi if he’s able to get him down. That said, getting Gegard Mousasi down is not going to be an easy task.

Mousasi is very good at keeping his range and he possesses tremendous takedown defense. There’s a reason why the Bellator middleweight champion has had the success he’s had over the course of his career.

In the early rounds, I find it hard to believe that Salter can get Mousasi down. I believe Mousasi is going to pull out ahead easily in the first three rounds. Perhaps if he gets tired, Salter can land some takedowns in the later rounds, but I don’t see it being enough tonight.

Prediction: Gegard Mousasi by Unanimous Decision

Douglas Lima falls to Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 250

Tonight one of the more anticipated matchups of the year took place at Bellator 250. Welterweight champion, Douglas Lima (32-7), was looking to become a two-division world champion. Standing in his way was former Bellator middleweight champion, Gegard Mousasi (46-7-2).

Lima entered the Bellator cage on a three fight winning streak. He was 6-1 in his last seven fights, but he’s already avenged the one loss he had in the span. Lima is widely considered to be one of the best fighters that Bellator has to offer.

There haven’t been many fighters who have been as consistently good over a long period of time as Gegard Mousasi. Mousasi was a champion in every major organization he’s competed in except for the UFC. He was already the Bellator middleweight champion.

Mousasi lost his crown to Rafael Lovato back at Bellator 223. However, due to some medical issues outside the cage, Lovato retired and vacated the middleweight crown. That is how we arrived at Bellator 250 with Lima looking to become a two-division champ.

Bellator 250 Main Event Recap

As the Bellator 250 main event kicked off, Mousasi plotted forward to try to close the distance on Lima. Lima fired off a couple of powerful leg kicks which caused Mousasi to shoot in for a takedown. After defending well at first, Lima was taken down and gave up his back.

Lima was able to work his way back up to his feet, but Mousasi dragged him back down. Lima forced a scramble, but Mousasi ended up in his guard. Mousasi did a fantastic job of landing shots from the top position as the first round came to a close.

As the second round opened, the Bellator welterweight champion looked a little gun shy. Mousasi plotted forward again closing the distance on Lima. Lima appeared to be trying to time Mousasi’s attack while his back was against the cage.

In the second, every time Mousasi pressed forward, Lima was going a good job of landing shots. With 90 seconds left in the round, Mousasi shot in for another takedown. However, Lima did a fantastic job of keeping the fight standing. Much better second round for the Bellator welterweight champion.

The third round again started with Mousasi plotting forward. Lima landed a really nice leg kick, but he wasn’t throwing very much. Mousasi plotted forward throwing straight punches, but nothing was really landing in the third.

Halfway through the round, Lima pushed forward with a big combination. However, as soon as he landed it, he went back to not throwing much. Mousasi continued to press forward the rest of the round throwing feeler shots. With the overall output and pressure, Mousasi was up three rounds.

Championship Rounds

The fourth round opened with Mousasi shooting in for a takedown. Mousasi was able to spin to Lima’s back and push him against the fence. He slammed the Bellator welterweight champion to the ground, but Lima was able to get back up.

After the two fighters broke, Lima landed a really nice leg kick. However, Mousasi didn’t seem phased by the kick. Mousasi just continued to plot forward. Lima landed a couple of additional hard leg kicks that caused Mousasi to switch his stance. A very close round that could have gone either way.

The final round opened with both men standing in the center of the cage. Lima landed a really hard leg kick to get the striking started. The leg kicks seemed to be taking a tole on Mousasi in the fifth as he wasn’t moving forward like he was in the previous rounds.

Lima started landing some good shots as he was backing Mousasi up. Instead of throwing one or two shots, Lima was finally starting to put together combinations on Mousasi. Mousasi was not throwing much at all in the fifth round.

Mousasi was able to catch a leg kick with 90 seconds left in the round and take Lima down. Lima looked extremely frustrated after he was taken to the ground. Mousasi wasn’t attacking much from the top, but he did a good job of holding control. Despite the takedown, I give the final round the Bellator welterweight champion.

It wasn’t the most exciting fight in the world, but it was extremely tactical. A couple of rounds were close, but I had Mousasi winning this one 48-47. The judges agreed and Gegard Mousasi is the new Bellator middleweight champion.

Gegard Mousasi def. Douglas Lima by Unanimous Decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)

Bellator 250 Preview: Who will win the vacant middleweight title?

Tomorrow night, Bellator MMA returns with a fantastic title fight in their middleweight division. In the main event, Gegard Mousasi (46-7-2) will be taking on the welterweight champion, Douglas Lima (32-7) for the vacant Bellator middleweight championship.

Mousasi appears to be nearing the end of his historic MMA career. He is looking to become the Bellator champion for the second time in this one. Mousasi is coming off of a split decision victory over Lyoto Machida back at Bellator 228.

Prior to that, Mousasi had lost his crown to Rafael Lovato. Lovato has since retired which is why there is a vacant title in the middleweight division. Lima is moving up from welterweight looking to become the next Bellator double champ.

Lima is 6-1 in his last seven fights inside the Bellator cage. However, he’s avenged the one loss that he had in that span in his last fight. Lima claimed the welterweight title after he defeated Rory MacDonald by unanimous decision at Bellator 232.

Prior to that, Lima had finishes of Andrey Koreshkov and Michaal Venom Page. The Page knockout is still one of the most played knockouts in the history of Bellator. This should be a fantastic matchup for the middleweight title.

Bellator 250 Prediction

This is the second time that a welterweight champion has gone up to take on Gegard Mousasi. The last time it was Rory MacDonald that tried to move up to challenge Mousasi at Bellator 206. The fight was extremely one sided.

Mousasi used his superior strength and control to overwhelm MacDonald. Ultimately, Mousasi was able to get the TKO win in the second round. Lima is going to have his hands full tomorrow night trying to win his second Bellator title.

I’m a big fan of Douglas Lima. However, I’m not sure about this matchup for him. Lima is going to have his moments in this one, but I don’t see either fighter getting a finish. With that, I think you’ll see Mousasi edge out Lima in a very close fight.

Prediction: Gegard Mousasi by Unanimous Decision

Bellator: Douglas Lima and Gegard Mousasi to battle for the middleweight crown

Things are moving fast and furious for Bellator MMA on this Friday afternoon. This morning it was confirmed that the promotion would be hosting the first major MMA event in the country of France.

Shortly after, President Scott Coker announced that the promotion would be moving to CBS Sports Network. However, the announcements didn’t stop there. Bellator announced that welterweight champion, Douglas Lima (32-7), would be taking on Gegard Mousasi (46-7-2) for the middleweight title on October 29th.

Another Bellator Double Champ?

Bellator‘s welterweight champion is looking to become another one of the promotion’s double champs. They had two before Ryan Bader lost at Bellator 244, now Patricio Pitbull is the only one. Douglas Lima is looking to take the champ-champ status.

Since 2016, Lima has looked incredible inside the cage. He’s gone 6-1 with his lone loss coming to Rory MacDonald. Lima got a rematch with MacDonald back in October of 2019 and dominated him to get that loss back. Prior to that win, Lima had a highlight reel knockout of Michael Page back at Bellator 221.

Gegard Mousasi left the UFC back in 2017 for a better deal with Bellator. Mousasi was one of the best middleweights in the world which is why Bellator gave him a great deal. Mousasi won his first three fights and was the Bellator middleweight champion.

Then, at Bellator 223, Mousasi lost by majority decision to Rafael Lovato Jr. Lovato was originally going to be the one to fight Lima, but due to a brain condition, Lovato relinquished the middleweight title. Mousasi will now get another crack at the title.

Mousasi is coming off of a split decision win over Lyoto Machida last September. This is a massive fight for the promotion. There are a lot of exciting things going on in Bellator right now, and fights of this magnitude will continue to draw fans in.

Bellator MMA preparing for July 24th return

Per multiple reports, Bellator MMA is ready to open their doors. Bellator is expected to have a three-month residency at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Unvasville, Connecticut. We have not seen any Bellator action since the promotion halted production back in early March.

Per MMA Fighting, the deal is a partnership with Showtime Championship Boxing who will also be sharing the arena. There are multiple hurdles still to overcome, but the promotion is focused on getting back to action in a couple of weeks.

Exciting Bellator Matchups Upcoming

There are no dates just yet, but there are several matchups that should get MMA fans excited about Bellator returning. One of the matchups that sticks out to me is the matchup between Douglas Lima (32-7) and Gegard Mousasi (46-7-2) for the vacant middleweight title. Lima is truly one of the best fighters in the world, and I’m interested to see if he can become a two-division world champion in Bellator.

Another fight I’m interested in is the rematch between Michael Chandler (20-5) and Benson Henderson (28-8). Chandler has long been considered one of the better lightweights in the world. He’s coming up on his last fight under his current Bellator deal, and he’s expected to test out free agency. If he wins impressively, expect several promotions to come calling with good offers.

Of course you have to think Bellator will move quickly to book the anticipated matchup between Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (30-4) and Pedro Carvalho (11-3). Pitbull is one of the best fighters in the world. He’s currently one of two double-champs in Bellator. There was some heat in this matchup, and it was just days from happening before the pandemic shut everything down.

More Fights for Fans

Dana White and the UFC have done a tremendous job of getting sports going over the last couple of months. However, now that Bellator is coming back, fight fans are going to see even more action. You have to think Bellator is going to come out strong after being behind for the last few months.