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Bellator 282 results and highlights: Johnny Eblen shuts out Gegard Mousasi, wins middleweight belt

There’s a new champion in Bellator’s middleweight division.

Johnny Eblen after defeating Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 282.
New Bellator middleweight champion Johnny Eblen.
Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA

Gegard Mousasi’s second reign as Bellator middleweight champion has come to an end at the hands (and wrestling) of undefeated American Top Team talent Johnny Eblen at Bellator 282.

At Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, Eblen outwrestled and outstruck Mousasi on his way to a shutout decision win and the distinction of being Bellator’s new king at 185 lbs. The tone was set early when Mousasi got stunned with a left hand by the southpaw, and then a powerful right hand/forearm shiver had Mousasi badly shaken and forced him into a takedown. Eblen got back to his feet in next to no time and he would get a couple of takedowns of his own later on. Eblen had the back but scored the reversal and then fired off some hard shots as he returned to his feet.

Mousasi looked sluggish, flat-footed, and had no answers for Eblen’s takedowns and frankly was unable to sustain any offensive consistency on the feet. Eblen searched for a rear-naked choke in the fourth round only for Mousasi to escape, but even when he was getting in some good shots in the final round, the wrestling proved critical for Johnny, who pulls off a big upset and is just the second fighter to beat Mousasi since July 2016.

Also on the Bellator 282 main card, Danny Sabatello and Magomed Magomedov punched their tickets to the bantamweight grand prix semifinals. Sabatello scored a unanimous decision over Leandro Higo in a fight that was, shall we say, not the most fan friendly to watch. Higo’s only real good round was when he reversed Sabatello and locked in a body triangle in the second frame. Other than that Sabatello’s takedowns, ground-and-pound, and mat pressure were the story of the fight. No doubt that Danny’s wrestling will come up against a tougher test in the form of Raufeon Stots in the semis. Meanwhile Magomedov guillotine choked Enrique Barzola to set up a date with submission specialist Patchy Mix. Barzola had his moments and this was a good, back-and-forth scrap but Magomedov’s striking had Barzola hurt in both rounds two and three, before the guillotine pull in the fourth frame sealed the deal.

At the start of the main card, crowd favorite Brennan Ward delighted the fans again with a second-round TKO of Kassius Kayne, giving him his second win of 2022.

As for the prelims? Violence. Tons of it. The pick of the lot is Alexander Shabily’s destruction of former Bellator lightweight champion Brent Primus, but a shoutout to Sabah Homasi’s latest brutal KO, as well as Mandel Nallo’s walkoff KO against Bryce Logan... but not the way you expect.

Results and highlights below:

Main Card

Johnny Eblen def. Gegard Mousasi via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) to win the Bellator middleweight title

Danny Sabatello def. Leandro Higo via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

Magomed Magomedov def. Enrique Barzola via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:27 of Round 4

Brennan Ward def. Kassius Kayne via TKO (punches) at 1:11 of Round 2

Preliminary Card

Killys Mota def. Dan Moret via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Lucas Brennan def. Johnny Soto via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:34 of Round 1

Alexander Shabliy def. Brent Primus via KO (punches) at 1:22 of Round 2

Cat Zingano def. Pam Sorenson via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-27, 29-27)

Anatoly Tokov def. Muhammed Abdullah via TKO (punches) at 2:28 of Round 1

Sabah Homasi def. Maycon Mendonca KO (punches) at 0:58 of Round 1

Ilara Joanne def. Alejandra Lara via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-27)

James Gonzalez def. Cody Law via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 30-26)

Aaron Jeffery def. Fabio Aguiar via TKO at 3:32 (knees and punches) of Round 2

Mandel Nallo def. Bryce Logan via TKO (punches) at 1:07 of Round 1