In the Bellator middleweight division, the Gegard Mousasi era is over.
Bellator 282, What A Performance!
In an unprecedented turn of events on Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, Johnny Eblen performed the performance of a lifetime to defeat Mousasi and win the Bellator middleweight championship.
Eblen was in complete control of the battle, out-striking Mousasi on the feet and completely dominating him on the mat to earn a lopsided unanimous decision victory.
It was only Mousasi’s second defeat in five years of competing for Bellator, and it ended a four-fight winning streak that had fans questioning whether Mousasi deserved to be included among the world’s top middleweights.
Unsurprisingly, the MMA community had a lot to say about the surprising outcome. Below, Jorge Masvidal, Yoel Romero, and many others comment on Eblen’s title-winning victory over Mousasi.
Gegard Mousasi’s loss of his middleweight belt to rank outsider Johnny Eblen at Bellator 282 will be remembered as a night when MMA giants were decimated.
The Dutch superstar had previously controlled the division, but the American knocked out Mousasi in five rounds.
In other news, Cat Zingano might have just locked up a crack at the title, Sabah Homasi continued to light up the stage, and Danny Sabatello won’t shut up.
From Bellator 282, the following five things were discovered-
It’s difficult to state with any certainty that Mousasi’s prime is over. Compared to Eblen, he appeared to be precisely his age at 36.
An upset is nothing new to Mousasi. Shocks are virtually a given in a career that has lasted 59 fights and 19 years.
He frequently experiences purple periods of performance to fall short against someone he was predicted to beat. Muhammad Lawal, the coach of Eblen, is all too familiar with this side of Mousasi—the fighter who loses focus—has defied the odds in 2010 by defeating the then 24-year-old Mousasi.
The Dutchman has lost ground even in Bellator. In just his second defense, he was defeated by heavy underdog Rafael Lovato Jr. for the middleweight title.
Mousasi is direct while not being a big talker. He has always been open about being a prizefighter. This week, in response to a question about his longevity, he said, “Wanting to make more money, that’s the problem.”
Johnny Eblen, a professional mixed martial artist from the United States who was born on December 13th, 1991, is the current middleweight champion of Bellator MMA. He is currently ranked first among middleweights in Bellator as of March 1, 2022.
On March 22, 2019, at Bellator 218 against Chauncey Foxworth, Eblen made his professional debut. He prevailed by unanimous decision in the fight.
He defeated Mauricio Alonso in his sophomore appearance at Bellator 229 on October 4, 2019, by unanimous decision.
At Bellator 250 on October 29, 2020, Eblen faced Taylor Johnson and prevailed by unanimous decision.
Eblen defeated Daniel Madrid in the first round at Bellator 258 on May 7, 2021, earning his first stoppage victory with the promotion.
At Bellator 262, Eblen took on Travis Davis on July 16, 2021. He prevailed by unanimous decision in the fight.
Eblen defeated Collin Huckbody by first-round TKO finish at Bellator 272 on December 3, 2021, in his sixth match with the organization.
On March 12, 2022, at Bellator 276 Eblen faced John Salter. He prevailed by unanimous decision in the fight.
At Bellator 282 on June 24, 2022, Eblen competed against Gegard Mousasi for the middleweight title. A unanimous 50-45 judgment on all judges’ scorecards gave him the victory and the title.
Gegard Mousasi, a Dutch mixed martial artist and former kickboxer were born on August 1st, 1985. He currently competes in Bellator MMA and has won the Bellator Middleweight Championship twice. He is now third among men in Bellator’s pound-for-pound rankings as of May 10, 2022.
Mousasi is a six-time MMA world champion overall because he was also the DREAM Light Heavyweight, DREAM Middleweight, Cage Warriors World Middleweight, and Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champions in the past.
He was ranked #4 in the official UFC middleweight rankings at the time of his departure from the organization in July 2017, and he is presently listed as the #3 Middleweight MMA fighter and the #9 Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World by Fight Matrix.