Gegard Mousasi
The Dreamcatcher

Iran

Ready to defend title
MiddleweightBellator
March 29, 2019
Mousasi (back) will face Rafael Lovato at Bellator London on June 22, Chamatkar Sandhu of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
This is a rescheduled middleweight title fight after Mousasi suffered a back injury and wasn't ready to defend his belt at Bellator 214.
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Withdraws from title defense at Bellator 214
MiddleweightBellator
December 20, 2018
Mousasi will no longer defend his middleweight title against Rafael Lovato at Bellator 214 on Jan. 26 due to a back injury, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
It appears Mousasi -- who defeated Rory MacDonald via second-round TKO in his first title defense in September -- will have to wait to defend his middleweight title for a second time. Specifics regarding the injury remain vague, so it's unclear when the 33-year-old will be cleared to return. At this point, the promotion has yet to determine whether Lovato will remain on the card following Mousasi's withdrawal.
Wins battle of champions against Rory MacDonald at Bellator 206
MiddleweightBellator
September 29, 2018
Mousasi defeated Rory MacDonald via TKO (punches) at 3:23 of Round 2 at Bellator 206 on Saturday in San Jose, Calif.
ANALYSIS
This really was a masterful performance from Mousasi. In the first round, he proved himself to be the better striker. He took MacDonald out of his game with a meaningful jab. The punch set up his other strikes, but it also landed hard on its own. In the second round, MacDonald rolled for a leg lock. Mousasi easily defended and went to work on top. He landed hard ground and pound, knifed through the guard, took the back and threw hard strikes until the referee was forced to stop the fight. There are very few middleweights on the Bellator roster who can compete with Mousasi. He will likely hold this belt for a long time.
Draws the Red King in September superfight
MiddleweightBellator
June 21, 2018
Mousasi will face Rory MacDonald in a middleweight superfight on Sept. 29 in San Jose, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Mousasi exited the UFC on a five-fight winning streak and immediately kept it rolling under the Bellator banner. He defeated Alexander Shlemenko via unanimous decision in his company debut, then had much less trouble with Rafael Carvalho for the middleweight strap, defeating the former champion via first-round TKO (punches). He'll now welcome the challenge against the current welterweight champion in one of the best fights Bellator could make in 2018. He's slightly taller than MacDonald, but the two are equal in the reach department. Both have seen or approached the pinnacle of the sport, though one can argue that MacDonald has absorbed much more damage of late. The betting odds should be close for this one.
Takes middleweight championship with complete performance at Bellator 200
MiddleweightBellator
May 25, 2018
Mousasi defeated Rafael Carvalho via TKO (punches) at 3:35 of Round 1 at Bellator 200 on Friday in London.
ANALYSIS
When Mousasi left the UFC and signed with Bellator, many expected him to easily breeze through the Bellator middleweight division and take the title. Things got off to a rough start against former champion Alexander Shlemenko. However, Mousasi survived that fight and pulled out the decision. In this fight, he had a lot less trouble. About three minutes into the first round, Mousasi methodically score a takedown, moved to the mount and then turned on the punches for the stoppage. It was a vintage performance for the veteran, and he should take on a variety of challengers now.
Big favorite in first shot at Bellator gold
MiddleweightBellator
May 24, 2018
Mousasi is a (-345) favorite for Friday's middleweight title fight against Rafael Carvalho at Bellator 200 on Friday.
ANALYSIS
Mousasi narrowly escaped with a win in his Bellator debut against Alexander Shlemenko, but remains a big favorite in his second fight with the company despite entering as the challenger. Carvalho has been on an impressive run since earning the belt against Brandon Halsey in 2015, successfully defending his title three times, including back-to-back KO victories. Mousasi, at 32 years old, left the UFC on a high note in 2017, riding a streak of four consecutive TKO victories. He's been in more than 50 professional fights despite being relatively young in fight years, and will have to lean on that experience against the Brazilian champion. Nonetheless, it's quite rare to see a reigning champion check in as a (+285) betting underdog.