Gegard Mousasi defended his title against Johnny Eblen at 185 lbs. Middleweight World Championship. The event was held at Mohegan Sun Arena last June 24, 2022, under Bellator MMA promotions, having the bout serving as the main event.
Gegard is wearing his customized Xmartial MMA shorts at this event. Mousasi is a 6x Bellator Champion with 50 MMA wins under his belt, an accomplishment only a few Mixed Martial Artists can attain. The challenger is Johnny “ The Human Cheat Code” Eblen under American Top Team has a solid wrestling background being an NCAA qualifier in 2015. This event is Eblen’sfirst World title fight and is the number-one contender for the Middleweight World Championship, he currently is undefeated with 11 wins.
In the Eblen-Mousasi main event, all three judges scored the match 50-45- a unanimous decision win for Eblen. The calm and collected demeanor of Mousasi contrasted with Eblen’s aggressive drive. The opening round quickly turned into mayhem as Eblengave a solid right swing to Mousasi’s nose. Mousasi managed to get a quick takedown but Eblen was able to recover, stay back up to his feet and reverse the pinning position while continuously punching and ended up getting a takedown. The two fighters grappled at the last minute of the first round, Mousasi was able to get out of the back take and gather himself again in a standing position.
In the 2nd round, Mousasi landed a soft left jab that gave Eblen an opening to a clean takedown. Eblen worked from a dominant side control position but Mousasi was not letting him settle by inching his way out. Mousasi was able to recover a butterfly guard and sweep but Eblen was quick to counter by putting pressure to get Mousasi’s back. Eblen worked to get a takedown once again but Mousasi was able to escape and work his way to standing again. The last minute of the 2nd round was a slowdown for both fighters.
Eblen worked with combination punches in the 3rd round while Mousasi countered with single jab punches. Eblen’s constant combination of punches definitely paid off right down to the last minute of the round.
Eblen’s confidence in the 4th round is very visible by getting his 6th takedown. Mousas once again finds his back against the cage while Eblen is putting in pressure to get a back take. Mousasi was able to slip and get through the rough waters and bring the fight to a standing position only to get taken down to the canvas at the last minute of the round. Eblen tried to keep him in the ground in the last minute of the round but Mousasi was able to pull through.
The 5th and final round showed that Eblen was putting in the work with his striking and combinations. Mousasi was taken down again and was forced to stay there with constant pressure.
The fight was concluded in a unanimous decision in favor of Johnny Eblen making him the new Middleweight Champion of Bellator MMA. As of November 22, 2022, Gegard Mousasi is #9 in Bellator men’s pound-for-pound rankings and #1 in Bellator Middleweight rankings.