Fabian Edwards defeats former champion Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 296, will fight Johnny Eblen next
Bellator MMA returned to us today, May 12, 2023, for Bellator 296, going down live from the Accor Arena in Paris, France.
Headlining the event was a 185 lb showdown between former two-time Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi (49-8-2) and UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards’ little brother, Fabian Edwards (11-2).
This was Mousasi’s first fight since losing the title to current champion Johnny Eblen back in June of last year, though he was 12-2 over his latest 14 appearances including a 7-2 run in Bellator, while Edwards came into the bout on a two-fight win streak, having defeated former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida in May of last year.
Continue reading to see how our middleweight main event of the evening went down:
Official Result: Fabian Edwards def. Gegard Mousasi via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Round one between these two is very much a feeling-out process, with each man doing little aside from landing leg kicks.
Round two showcases each man spending some time on top; Edwards was the first to take the fight to the mat, and Mousasi eventually sweeps him and gets on top. Unfortunately for Mousasi, he landed an illegal knee whilst on top and lost the position, where Edwards’ hands looked sharp upon returning to their feet.
It’s evident in round three that Mousasi’s timing isn’t what it once was, he got picked apart and didn’t so much as even change levels for a takedown attempt. He was out-striking Edwards, significantly too, but the better-quality shots came from Edwards.
Mousasi finally secures a takedown in round four and starts to maul Edwards, though Edwards is able to get back to his feet and eventually takes Mousasi down at the end of the round.
Mousasi initiates another grappling exchange in the fifth and final round and ends up getting his back taken, where Edwards rides out the remaining three minutes of the round.
Gegard Mousasi is a true great of the sport, an 8-0 kickboxer that went 12-1 in amateur boxing. He’s a former title holder of Cage Warriors (185 lbs), DREAM (185 lbs & 205 lbs), Strikeforce (205 lbs), and Bellator (185 lbs), and he also left the UFC on a five-fight win streak with four knockouts. Mousasi was next in line for a title shot prior to signing with Bellator.
What’s more, by time he made his Bellator debut with a record of 42-6-2, he held wins over the last three men that had defeated him. He’d also never lost two fights in a row until tonight. But, at 37 years of age, turning 38 as soon as August, it appears his best days are sadly behind him.
On the contrary, it looks like we may have two world champions in the Edwards family, as Fabian will be facing Johnny Eblen in his next fight for the Bellator middleweight championship.
Can Fabian Edwards hand Johnny Eblen the first defeat of his career come September?
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