Bellator new boy Gegard Mousasi will make his promotional debut against former champ Alexander Shlemenko on Friday, October 20 at Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko, an event that takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The night’s co-main event will be a light-heavyweight contest between ‘King Mo’ Lawal and former titleholder Liam McGeary.
Long-considered one of the elite two-division threats in MMA, Mousasi, 42-6-2, is currently riding a five-fight win streak that includes recent knockout victories over former world champions Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort. Prior to his UFC tenure, Mousasi captured the Strikeforce light-heavyweight title, as well as the Dream light-heavyweight and middleweight titles in Japan. ‘The Dreamcatcher’, who currently trains out of The Netherlands, has earned victories over some of the sport’s biggest names, including Dan Henderson, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, Mark Hunt, Ovince Saint-Preux, Melvin Manhoef, Hector Lombard and Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral.
Shlemenko, 56-9 (1 NC), a former middleweight champion, has competed under the Viacom-owned promotion’s umbrella since Bellator 16 in 2010. Known for his vicious finishing ability, ‘Storm’ ruled with an iron fist over Bellator’s 185-pound division, defending his belt on three occasions. One of the most dominant champions in Bellator history and currently riding a five-fight win streak, which includes a TKO victory over Kendall Grove at Bellator 162, Shlemenko has his sights set on earning a shot at once again becoming world champion.
Fresh from a unanimous decision victory over Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at Bellator 175, ‘King Mo’ Lawal, 21-6 (1 NC), the king of Bellator’s ‘money-weight’ division, returns to meet Britain’s McGeary.
Never one to shy away from a fight, Lawal, a former Strikeforce champion, has stepped inside the Bellator cage on 14 separate occasions and was also victorious during Rizin’s first open-weight tournament in 2015.
Regarded as one of the top light-heavyweights in the world, McGeary will enter his bout with Lawal looking to once again return to the summit of the division. As a member of Team Renzo Gracie in New York, McGeary, 12-2, brings quality jiu-jitsu skills to the table against an opponent who has yet to be submitted in 27 professional fights.