Dutch MMA legend Gegard Mousasi returns to defend his middleweight title at Bellator 282 on Friday, June 24, with a career milestone firmly in his sights.
Mousasi claimed the 49th victory of his professional MMA career in his last outing, but despite his four-fight win streak, “The Dreamcatcher” is hoping to find himself in a more fan-friendly spectacle than his recent appearances.
Mousasi’s last two appearances came against seasoned grapplers John Salter and Austin Vanderford, which did not make for the most crowd-pleasing action as the challengers relentlessly tried to drag the Dutchman to the canvas.
But Mousasi prevailed in both matchups by finishing both Salter and Vanderford via TKO, and he said he hopes to be involved in a better style of matchup against Johnny Eblen in his next title defence.
“A fight is a fight (and) I’m coming to finish this fight,” he said during a virtual press conference.
“I talked to Scott (Coker), and a couple of my past performances were not appreciated, so we have to put on a show, and if Eblen comes to fight it will be even better.
“The last two were finishes so we are going to go for the finish again.
“The last two opponents were similar style, wrestlers, so basically, I’ve been training for a fighting style similar to Eblen for almost a year now.
“I’m not planning to stop after this fight, I’m happy to get my 50th victory and move on to different things.”
Eblen, meanwhile, has earned his shot at the title with a perfect run of results under the Bellator banner.
The American is undefeated at 11-0, and claimed a unanimous decision victory over Salter in his last appearance to cement his position as the number-one contender at 185 pounds.
Now he’s all set to face Mousasi, and “The Human Cheat Code” says he’s ready to make his title shot count.
“Every fight I’ve prepared for is like a title fight in my head, I approach everything the same,” he said.
“Obviously, I’m fighting Gegard Mousasi, so it’s different, but this is why I prepare the way I do, for moments like this.
“People that have watched me fight, know what I’m capable of, they just haven’t seen me do it against an opponent the calibre of Gegard yet.
“This fight is going to solidify my name and start my legacy. This is going to put a big exclamation point after my name – people are going to be talking about me. Especially with what I’m going to do against Gegard, I’m going to punch him in the face, I’m going to take him down, it’s going to be fun.
“I like his style, but there’s things I can do based off his style. It’s going to fun and exciting, don’t just think I’m going to wrestle you.”