Bellator 275: Gegard Mousasi Says He Would Have “Great Chance” to Beat Adesanya

Bellator MMA middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi knows the fight isn’t possible — but he believes he’d have a great chance at beating UFC middleweight king Israel Adesanya in the unlikely event a fight between them took place.

Mousasi (49-7-2) exited the UFC in 2018, then on a five-fight win streak including victories over ex-champs Vitor Belfort and Chris Weidman. That was the same year Adesanya debuted in the promotion. Both have since gone on to claim gold: Adesanya is the UFC’s undisputed middleweight champion, while Mousasi is on his second reign as the Bellator equivalent, having defended his title against Austin Vanderford at Bellator 275 on Friday.

“I trained with guys that fought Israel Adesanya, they did well against Israel Adesanya or won, and I’m better than them in the stand-up. So of course I feel like I have a great chance, and I can win,” Mousasi said when asked about the hypothetical match-up on Friday following his win against Vanderford. “But taking about it is talking like I want to be Santa Claus. It’s not possible.”

With two decades in the sport in a career that has seen him fight for PRIDE, win gold in Dream and Strikeforce, and go on an impressive run in the UFC before choosing to walk away in free agency, Mousasi is one of the names many see as a dream fight for Adesanya. For good reason: many see him as, if not the best middleweight in the world, second only to “The Last Stylebender.” And for the first time in his career, Mousasi sees himself as the best.

“I was hungry, I was more determined than [Austin Vanderford], and I’m in my prime,” he stated following the fight. “I feel I’m the best middleweight in the world right now. I never said that, because I never thought I was the best, but I told everyone this training camp, that this day I was the best middleweight. I don’t know [about] tomorrow, but today I was the best.”

With two more fights expected this year, at the middle of the year and again at the end, Mousasi has his short-term future mapped out. And if it should be another rising star like Vanderford next, “The Dreamcatcher” had a warning.

“Upcoming guys, they’re all coming up, but I’m telling you, to the guys that are coming up that think they can beat me, they have something coming,” said Mousasi. “I’m at my best, and I’m more confident than ever. Anyone who comes, they’re going to get it.”

Watch the full Bellator 275 post-fight press scrum with Gegard Mousasi above.