Bellator 264 sees the promotion return to Uncasville, Connecticut for a middleweight title fight, with one of the sport’s most decorated champions looking to retain his title.
Dutchman Gegard Mousasi has captured a host of titles in his 18-year MMA career. “The Dreamcatcher” has won the middleweight and light-heavyweight titles for Asian promotion DREAM, as well as the Cage Warriors middleweight title and the Strikeforce light-heavyweight title.
Mousasi was a constant threat to the division’s best in the UFC, but was never offered the chance to fight for championship gold. But that all changed when he signed for Bellator in July 2017.
Mousasi captured the middleweight title in only his second fight for the promotion, defeating Rafael Carvalho via first-round TKO at Bellator 200 in London. He controversially lost the strap to Rafael Lovato Jr via majority decision on his return to London the following year at Bellator 223, but bounced back superbly to reclaim the belt with a unanimous decision victory over welterweight champion Douglas Lima at Bellator 250 last October to improve his record to 47-7-2.
Mousasi will take on American John Salter, a dangerous grappler who has only been to the judges’ scorecards once in 22 career fights.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has won each of his last three bouts, with two of them coming via submission. Salter has 10 wins via submission in all, with his 18-4 record featuring victories over notable names including Dustin Jacoby, Kendall Grove, Jason Radcliffe and Costello van Steenis.
The title bout between Mousasi and Salter tops the bill at the Mohegan Sun Arena, with two must-see bouts preceding the middleweight title clash.
The co-main event features former welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov, who returns to the Bellator cage for the first time since his split-decision loss to Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 229 in 2019.
While many of Russia’s top fighters are known for their grappling prowess, Koreshkov’s calling card has been his knockout power. “The Spartan” has 12 knockouts on his 23-4 record, with seven of those knockouts coming inside the Bellator cage.
He’ll look to add to that tally when he takes on crowd-pleaser Sabah Homasi, whose penchant for back-and-forth wars could produce another edge-of-the-seat encounter when he faces Koreshkov.
Homasi is in his fourth stint with the Bellator MMA promotion, and is currently 3-1 in his latest run, with victories over Micah Terrill, Curtis Millender and Bobby Voelker followed by a spectacular battle that eventually ended in defeat to Paul Daley at Bellator 257 in April.
Both Koreshkov and Homasi are eyeing a shot at the Bellator welterweight title, and a spectacular win for either man could catapult them right into the title mix at 170 pounds.
Bantamweight contenders collide
Two of Bellator’s best at 135 pounds will face off on the main card, with Russian contender Magomed Magomedov set to take on American Raufeon Stots in a pivotal bout for both men in the bantamweight division.
Magomedov is 18-1, with his only defeat coming to former UFC bantamweight champ Petr Yan in an epic ACB bantamweight title fight rematch. His clashes with Yan aside, Magomedov has been dominant, with Magomedov racking up nine submission wins and three KO/TKO finishes in his 18 career victories.
He’ll take on Stots, whose only career defeat came in freak fashion when he was caught by a spinning backfist by Merab Dvalishvili just 15 seconds into their Ring of Combat bantamweight title fight back in 2017.
That fight saw Dvalishvili earn a contract with the UFC, while Stots was left on the regional scene. Four more wins, including three under the LFA banner, saw Stots snapped up by Bellator, where he’s been perfect inside the cage thus far.
Four fights and four wins have seen him rise up the bantamweight rankings, and now he takes on hotly-tipped Magomedov in a battle that could well determine the identity of the next challenger for the 135-pound title.
With both men superb wrestlers, it’s a clash of two different wrestling styles – American vs. Dagestani – that could serve up a fascinating contest.