Ohhhhhh shit! Gegard Mousasi bout to make his Bellator debut! I know this may not be on a lot of people’s radar, but I am dying to see what this guy can do in a new organization. Mousasi signed with Bellator after his stint in the UFC where he went 12-3. He was actually on a 5-fight win streak when he decided to go the free agent route and got picked up by Bellator. He says he felt a bit under appreciated in the UFC, so I can’t blame him for leaving, but this guy is one of the best. He has wins over Chris Weidman, Dan Henderson, Costas Philipou, Uriah Hall, Vitor Belfort, and that’s not even including his wins in Strikeforce and DREAM where he was light heavyweight champ. This was a fucking steal by Bellator.
Mousasi is only 32, and he is dead set on going on a tear in Bellator and becoming a two-division champ. He hasn’t had his debut, yet, so maybe he should slow it down a bit, but when you look at the divisions, he might be able to do it pretty easy. The only guys in middleweight that might give him trouble are current champ Rafael Carvalho (I give Mousasi the advantage) and former UFC challenger Rory MacDonald (which could go either way). However, he’s set to fight Alexander Shlemenko in the main event, and this Russian is a sneaky bastard (and no I don’t mean the steroids). Shlemenko has been at the top of this division for as long as I knew Bellator was a thing, but I give this fight to Mousasi without a second thought. Gegard also demanded Shlemenko be tested before the fight (good call). If Tito god damn Ortiz can take out Shlemeno with relative ease, Mousasi should have no issue.
Other notable fights include the second MMA bout of Heather Hardy’s career. She found a lot of success in the boxing ring, but wanted to give MMA a shot. After her TKO win in June, she said she fell in love with the sport. She’s going up against someone making her professional debut, so I’m not sure it’s much of a test, but she is one to watch in this division.
Does the name Gracie sound familiar? It should, asshole. The next up and comer from that famous family is Neiman Gracie, who has 6 pro fights and 6 wins. You would not be surprised to hear that most of those come by way of submission. He has a decent test in short-notice replacement Zak Bucia. Bucia seems like a guy that can keep people at distance, so I’m curious to see if he can do it to Gracie, and how Gracie handles it, if so.
With the UFC being in Poland this weekend, Fight Pass is the only way you can watch those. With Bellator being on Spike TV on Friday night, though, it’s a good excuse to get drunk and watch people beat the shit out of each other. Pay attention to the young prospects here. This is actually a breath of fresh air instead of the retirement tour we usually get from Bellator. Fighters like Gracie, Hardy, Jordan Young, and Ana Julaton could bring some much needed new life, because I’ve been a little disappointed in Bellator lately. I’ll give them a shot on Friday, but only because Mousasi’s name is attached, and Heather Hardy is an adorable badass.