One of the best middleweight fighters in the world regardless of promotion, Gegard Mousasi returned to action atop Friday’s Bellator 275.
In case you forgot, Mousasi entered the night with wins over the likes of Vitor Belfort, Uriah Hall, and even heavyweight Mark Hunt — wins over legends and bonafide studs in their prime.
While the undefeated Austin Vanderford would be hard-pressed to offer up any true surprises given the veteran Dutch fighter’s lengthy career, there was a real question as to whether his wrestling could be the answer to defeating Mousasi.
In the end, “Mr. VanZant” barely got started Friday before things came crashing down around him.
Off the opening bell, with the pair doing a bit of trading, it was Mousasi landing a right hand to draw first blood — a sign of things to come. Vanderford fired back, swinging wild, but again, it was Mousasi doing the damage when he returned fire. This time, Vanderford was clearly rocked, legs wobbly for a minute — and while he regained his composure, Mousasi took note.
When Vanderford shot for a takedown, looking for a chance to shake off the cobwebs, Mousasi easily overcame it, and began lighting up Vanderford while he covered up on the ground.
“I’m the best middleweight, I never said that because I never believed it, but from now on, you’d better believe it,” Mousasi proclaimed following the fight. At 36-years old, Mousasi’s confidence appears to be at an all-time high — and that’s a scary thought for Bellator’s 185lb division.
Official Result: Gegard Mousasi def. Austin Vanderford by TKO, Round 1, 1:25