Bellator MMA is set to return to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut later this evening for Bellator 282: Mousasi vs. Eblen. Friday night’s main event will feature Bellator middleweight world champion Gegard Mousasi defending his title against unbeaten upstart Johnny Eblen as he looks to earn the 50th win of his career. The show will also feature two fights in the Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix.
Fight fans will be able to catch the main card of Bellator 282 exclusively on Showtime beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with the preliminary card set to kick off at 6 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT over on the promotion’s YouTube channel.
Bellator 282 Results
Mousasi vs. Eblen
Mousasi, the reigning Bellator middleweight champion, is in the midst of one of the strongest, most successful runs of his career with seven victories in his last eight fights. The experienced and highly skilled 36-year-old veteran of the sport now finds himself in search of the 50th win of his career, and a Friday night victory would put him among the very best fighters to achieve the milestone. His lone blemish in Bellator came at the hands of Rafael Lovato Jr. back at Bellator 223. Lovato employed a grappling-heavy approach in his encounter with Mousasi, winning the belt via majority decision before health issues forced him into retirement before he could defend the belt. With the title vacant, Mousasi went on another tear en route to becoming a two-time champion, but thanks to Lovato, the path to victory is there for tonight’s challenger Eblen.
“The Human Cheat Code” is a former University of Missouri Tiger who at 6-foot-3 trends on the large side for 185-pound contenders. He is unbeaten through 11 fights with six finishes to his name, blending his wrestling roots with an ever-evolving striking game. Recent Mousasi challenger Austin Vanderford, like Eblen, entered the cage as a fellow undefeated former wrestler, but failed to truly test Mousasi in that area, getting stopped just under 90 seconds into the fight. Mousasi and Eblen do share a common opponent in veteran John Salter, a hurdle both fighters were able to clear in 2021, albeit in two totally different fashions.
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Bantamweight World Grand Prix
Bellator 282 will also play host to a pair of fights in the Bantamweight World Grand Prix. The evening’s co-main event will see Danny Sabatello take on Leandro Higo with a date against interim champion Raufeon Stots hanging in the balance.
Sabatello, who earned a shot at Higo after defeating Jornel Lugo in Hawaii, has a habit of making things personal with his opponents, saying of Higo, “I want to leave him fucking scarred for life.” The 12-1 American Top Team product has operated with a chip on his shoulder after winning a dominant decision over Taylor Moore on an episode of Dana White’s Contender Series only to not get picked up by the UFC. Now, “The Italian Gangster” will put his action-heavy style to the test against Higo, a training partner of the Pitbull Brothers who has at least six confirmed submissions on his record.
Friday’s other Grand Prix fight will feature a clash of 18-win fighters, Magomed Magomedov and Enrique Barzola, with the winner moving on to fight Patchy Mix in the other Grand Prix semifinal at a later date.
Magomedov is notable for being the first man to defeat former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan and was on his way to taking Bellator by storm until hitting a minor speed bump against current Bellator interim champion Stots. He will look to earn another shot at Stots through the bantamweight Grand Prix, but will need to clear a major obstacle in Barzola on Friday if he is to receive his own title opportunity. The Peruvian Barzola earned his way into the Grand Prix with a victory over Nikita Mikhailov in Hawaii and should be a tough out for Magomedov due to his experience and durability.
Johnny Eblen def. Gegard Mousasi via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) — for the Bellator World Middleweight Championship
Danny Sabatello def. Leandro Higo via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) — Bellator World Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal Bout
Magomed Magomedov def. Enrique Barzola via Submission (Guillotine) at 1:27 of Round 4– Bellator World Bantamweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal Bout
Brennan Ward def. Kassius Kayne via TKO (punches) at 1:111 of Round 2
Killys Mota def. Dan Moret via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lucas Brennan def. Johnny Soto via Submission (RNC) of 2:32 of Round 1
Alexander Shabliy def. Brent Primus via TKO (punches) at 2:22 of Round 2
Cat Zingano def. Pam Sorenson via Unanimous Decision (29-26, 29-27, 29-27)
Anatoly Tokov def. Muhammed Abdullah via TKO (punches) at 2:27 of Round 1
Sabah Homasi def. Maycon Mendonca via Knockout (punch) at :57 of Round 1
Ilara Joanne def. Alejandra Lara via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-27)
James Gonzalez def. Cody Law via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-28, 30-26)
Aaron Jeffery def. Fabio Aguiar via TKO (punches) at 3:32 of Round 2
Mandel Nallo def. Bryce Logan via Knockout (punch) at 1:10 of Round 1