Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Preview
Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) steps into the Bellator cage for the first time at Mohegan Sun this Friday for Bellator 185. His opponent will be Alexander Shlemenko (56-9) whose MMA record includes being a former champion in Bellator and an impressive 56 wins, with 31 of them coming by way of knockout/TKO. Mousasi has only been knock out once in his lengthy career and he has not been shy about his title aspirations in mixed martial arts.
Beating a former champion in a new promotion certainly puts Mousasi in the conversation and it is one he has been in no matter where he has fought. But there is work to be done when changing where you fight and if ever there was someone to beat to prove yourself, Shelmenko would be the one in the middleweight division. But fans should not make the mistake of counting Shlemenko out.
Both men are as well rounded as they come but no fighter is perfect, Shlemenko hits harder than most and if he lands on Mousasi, his chin will definitely be tested. However the grappling pedigree of Mousasi has to be considered and if he can get Shlemenko to the ground the odds are likely in Mousasi’s favor to earn a submission win. Half of Shlemenko’s losses are by submission and all of them by some form of choke. Eight of Mousasi’s 12 submission wins are by some form of choke so look for him to submit Shlemenko.
Fighters that have come from the UFC have tried for immediate title shots and failed. The safer path is to come close to it and fight the division’s top tier talent and test the waters much like Rory MacDonald and Roy Nelson have done. Mousasi seems to be following the same path but this fight is probably the toughest choice in a first promotional outing.
Bellator 185 will be live and free on Spike TV at 9 p.m. EST see the main card bout listing below.
Complete Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Fight Card:
Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)
Feature Image: Ed Carbajal/Frontproof Media