Bellator 282: Johnny Eblen Says Performance Against Mousasi “Expected”

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Johnny Eblen’s championship-winning performance against Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 282 was how one-sided it was.

Rarely has Mousasi been on the wrong end of a drubbing as thorough as Eblen’s on Friday, which saw the American Top Team fighter awarded 50-45 scores from all three judges.

The tone was set early, with Eblen knocking down Mousasi in the opening round. The Dutch legend never seemed to get out of first gear, while Eblen, with constant head movement and a sledgehammer of a right hand, never let up on the pace.

Following his title-winning performance, Bellator’s new middleweight champion said that the outcome was expected.

“Expected. That’s pretty much it. It sounds like what it’s supposed to sound like,” Eblen (12-0) said backstage at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. “During this whole week, I knew this was going to happen. I had moments of doubt, but I worked through them like anybody else, any other hard working man in the universe, and now I’m a champion.”

While Eblen has come off as a cool customer in his build to the title, he admitted to having an emotional moment following the win.

“The only emotion I felt really was when I saw my mom after I won the belt. Because she hates this sport, she hates that I fight, yet she traveled halfway across the country to watch me fight for a belt, and she did not expect this sh*t,” Eblen explained. “So just seeing my mom and being able to win this belt in front of her just meant a lot. Her and my family, but for some reason I saw my mom and I got emotional.”

There was a moment immediately after the win as well, Eblen added. Essentially when the realization that he had beat Mousasi for the title sunk in.

“When I was in the cage after I won I was a little bit emotional. I was more excited like ‘damn I just took this from a legend,’ but it was expected.”

Watch the full Bellator 282 post-fight press conference with Johnny Eblen above.