As he enters pro fight #59 in MMA, Gegard Mousasi is still keeping busy. At Bellator 282 on Friday, he’ll put his middleweight title on the line against American Top Team’s Johnny Eblen.
If all goes well, he’ll be fighting for a third time in 2022 at the end of the year. That’s an impressive pace for a reigning champion with a career that has lasted two decades.
“Yeah after this, the end of the year, they’re going to keep me busy,” Mousasi (49-7-2) told Cageside Press during Wednesday’s Bellator 282 media day. “I look at it fight-by-fight now, I don’t even look past this guy. We’ll see how it goes, to be honest I really don’t care. I don’t even think about who’s next.”
Middleweight, or light heavyweight might be the real question moving forward for Mousasi, win or lose. He admitted Wednesday that he’s coming into fight week a little heavier than usual. “I like to eat,” Mousasi joked. That aside, there’s long been talk of Mousasi moving up and challenging for Bellator’s light heavyweight title. After all, this is a fighter who beat Mark Hunt and Gary Goodridge, natural heavyweights, despite being vastly outweighed in both contests.
“I think the plan was, at least what I think Bellator’s plan was, was to fight the light heavyweight champ. But they’re in a rematch, so I don’t know who they’re going to give me,” Mousasi noted Wednesday. He has a point — after their first fight ended in a No Contest due to an accidental clash of heads, Vadim Nemkov and Corey Anderson will run it back later this year.
The winner may not be ready in time for Mousasi’s next fight. But, he later added, there’s always Fabian Edwards, Anatoly Tokov, and Yoel Romero, as well as Anderson and Nemkov.
When it comes to champ Nemkov and the current title challenger, Anderson, Mousasi was both surprised and impressed with Anderson’s performance.
“I was surprised, I was surprised how good Corey Anderson was. I was surprised, it looked like he was winning. Any of those guys will be a tough fight for me, but looking forward to the fight actually.”
Asked whether he expects it will be Anderson he challenges for light heavyweight gold, “it looked like that in the previous fight, but you never know,” Mousasi replied. “It’s a rematch, anything can happen. Both of them have good stand-up, good wrestling, so it’s not an easy fight.”
Watch the full Bellator 282 media day appearance from Gegard Mouasi above. The event takes place this Friday, June 24, 2022 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.