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Bellator 250 preview: Mousasi vs Lima, two-time champ or two-division champ?

A new middleweight king will be crowned, with one challenger chasing destiny.

Bellator scored a tremendous coup when they signed BJJ superstar Rafael Lovato Jr. and introduced him to their middleweight ranks. He made his way to the top in short but dramatic fashion, ultimately toppling Gegard Mousasi in a shocker for the belt. Due to unfortunate health concerns, Lovato has had to vacate the belt and a new champion will be crowned this Thursday night.

This time, the title is to be contested between former Strikeforce and Bellator champion Gegard Mousasi (46-7, 2 draws) against current welterweight champion Douglas Lima (32-7). Currently on his third title run, Lima’s path back to the welterweight belt was paved by slamming the door shut on his rivalry against Andrey Koreshkov, edging out Rory MacDonald in a rematch and superstyling on Michael Venom Page to hand him his first loss via ragdoll physics. Now he has an opening to be a dual champ and cement himself as one of the most decorated fighters to grace a Bellator cage, a distinction that will go along with his tournament wins and knockouts under the Bellator banner.

But standing in his way is one of the more underappreciated talents in the game, Gegard Mousasi. Having gone on an eight-fight win streak starting in 2016, he had his momentum halted with the loss to Lovato. After that, he rebounded against his somewhat-nemesis Lyoto Machida and won by decision to end up here. Both fighters have decent cardio with slick striking, but Mousasi’s far more well-rounded and has excellent grappling chops. But Lima’s not a slouch and packs a wallop with his strikes and ability to snipe at range. This is one of the absolute best fights Bellator can stage right now, and it’s happening live this week.

Bellator mainstay Brandon Girtz (16-9) isn’t your average wrestleboxer, being extra tough with some heavy hands. But he’s had some major ups and downs in recent years and it won’t be an easy out for him this week. Henry Corrales (17-5) will be his dance partner, coming off two losses, but they’re against Darrion Caldwell and current champ Juan Archuleta. With a good range game and plenty of volume, he’ll need to counter the takedowns and inside striking game of Girtz in what should be another hard battle.

Veta Arteaga was scheduled to face Desiree Yañez, but Yañez’s Bellator debut will be postponed due to Arteaga testing positive for COVID. Former World Series of Fighting standout Nick Newell has also tested positive, cancelling his bout against Zach Zane. Hawaii’s Toby Misech missed weight, cancelling his fight against Jared Scoggins.

Jake Hager (2-0) returns to MMA action against an overmatched Brandon Calton (2-0), and Strikeforce vet Bobby Voelker (33-13) meets former UFC fighter Sabah Homasi (14-8). Finally, Team Alpha Male and Combate Americas vet Erick Sanchez (9-5) gets a harsh welcome against Adam Borics (15-1)

Video of the weigh-ins is available here:

Weigh in results are as follows:

Douglas Lima (184.9) vs. Gegard Mousasi (184.9) - Vacant middleweight title fight

Brandon Girtz (145.6) vs. Henry Corrales (145.5) - Featherweight

Dalton Rosta (185.5) vs. Ty Gwerder (184.2) - Middleweight

Jake Hager (253.2) vs. Brandon Calton (258) - Heavyweight

Sabah Homasi (171) vs. Bobby Voelker (170.5) - Welterweight

Johnny Eblen (185) vs. Taylor Johnson (185.6) - Middleweight

Adam Borics (149.5) vs. Erick Sanchez (150) - Catchweight

Cody Law (145.5) vs. Orlando Ortega (141.5) - Featherweight

Bellator 250 takes place this Thursday, October 29th with prelims starting on YouTube at 5:15pm EST. Main card starts at 8:00pm over on CBS Sports Network.