Gegard Mousasi

The Dreamcatcher

Iran

Retains belt with ease
MiddleweightBellator
March 24, 2022
Mousasi defeated Austin Vanderford via TKO (punches) at 1:25 of Round 1 to retain his Bellator Middleweight Championship at Bellator 275 on February 25 in Dublin.
ANALYSIS
Mousasi was matched up against an opponent who relies on wrestling and control to secure victories, but Vanderford never really got that game working here, and Mousasi handed him his first ever MMA defeat. The two exchanged strikes to begin the fight before Vanderford shot for a takedown, but it was stuffed by Mousasi, who proceeded to unleash strikes on his grounded opponent. Vanderford could do nothing but cover up, and a few follow-up elbows and hammer fists closed the show. Mousasi's record in Bellator now stands at 7-1, with his lone blemish coming via majority decision against Rafael Lovato in June of 2019. He earned the belt back with a win over Douglas Lima in October of 2020, and now has two successful title defenses. Mousasi now sits at No. 4 in the Bellator pound-for-pound rankings and appears to have plenty left in the tank at the age of 36.
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Cruises in first title defense
MiddleweightBellator
August 16, 2021
Mousasi defeated John Salter via TKO (punches) at 2:07 of Round 3 at Bellator 264 on Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena, retaining his Bellator Middleweight Championship
ANALYSIS
Mousasi reclaimed the vacant belt in a matchup against Douglas Lima last October, and he looked every bit the part of a (-400) betting favorite here. Salter attempted to lean on his wrestling early, and was even able to take Mousasi down, but Mousasi avoided any serious damage. It was clear afterwards that Salter had essentially expended all his energy on wrestling, and Mousasi was able to dominate from there. Even at the age of 36, it looks like Mousasi has plenty left in the tank for this level of competition. He's expected to face undefeated wrestler Austin Vanderford (11-0) next at a date yet to be determined.
Title shot postponed
MiddleweightBellator
March 30, 2020
Mousasi will no longer face Douglas Lima for the vacant middleweight championship at Bellator 242 on May 9, as the event will be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Mousasi was dethroned as middleweight champion last June when he lost to Rafael Lovato via majority decision, but got back in the win column with a split-decision victory over Lyoto Machida in September. Lovato has since relinquished his belt due to health-related reasons, leaving the window open for a superfight. While Mousasi was listed as a (-150) betting favorite against an opponent moving up in weight class, those plans will be put on hold until the promotion is able to reschedule the event.
Set to fight Lima for title
MiddleweightBellator
February 11, 2020
Mousasi will fight Douglas Lima for the vacant Bellator middleweight title on May 9 at the Sap Center in San Jose, according to Bellator President Scott Coker.
ANALYSIS
With the news that Rafael Lovato Jr. would be relinquishing his middleweight title due to health issues, there was a two-fighter void for the championship fight. Mousasi will take on Lima, who will move up weight classes after just recently taking hold of the welterweight title on Oct. 24. Mousasi will become the first fighter to have the middleweight title for two different stints should he defeat Lima.
Takes step towards regaining title
MiddleweightBellator
September 30, 2019
Mousasi defeated Lyoto Machida via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27) at Bellator 228 on Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, Calfornia.
ANALYSIS
Mousasi lost a five-round unanimous decision when the two fighters met under the UFC banner in February of 2014, but he was able to outpoint the 41-year-old in the rematch more than five years later. He dropped Machida multiple times in the fight, and even though he wasn't able to secure the finish, he was the clear winner here despite the "split decision" on the scorecards. Mousasi undoubtedly now has his sights set on champion Rafael Lovato Jr., who took the middleweight title from him last June. Mousasi has even gone as far as to say he'll retire if he's unable to finish Lovato, which only adds to the build-up for this fight.
Loses middleweight strap in London
MiddleweightBellator
June 24, 2019
Mousasi lost to Rafael Lovato via majority decision (47-47, 47-48, 47-48) at Bellator 223 in Friday on London.
ANALYSIS
Mousasi finished off his UFC contract on a five-fight winning streak, and proceeded to pick up three consecutive wins to open his time with Bellator MMA. The 33-year-old suffered his first setback since 2015 on Friday, however, as the champion had a tough time against the grappling of Lovato. He was taken down and held down by Lovato early, and while most scorecards likely landed on Mousasi in Rounds 3 and 4, it simply wasn't enough to sway the judges in his direction. Considering Mousasi's pedigree and eight-fight winning streak, it wouldn't be surprising for Bellator brass to look to schedule an immediate rematch, especially given the close nature of this outcome.