Bellator 296 results: Fabian Edwards dominates Gegard Mousasi, secures title fight vs. Johnny Eblen
Fabian Edwards got a win over one of the biggest names in Bellator and secured a title shot all in one night.
Edwards defeated former middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi in the main event of Friday’s Bellator 296. Edwards won a unanimous decision that read 49-46 across all three judges’ scorecards at Accor Arena in Paris.
After the main event, it was announced that Edwards is now the next challenger for the Bellator middleweight title, fighting champion Johnny Eblen on Sept. 23 in Dublin. Eblen was brought inside the cage, and the two had a spicy faceoff that forced security to step in and separate them.
Already there's heat between @BellatorMMA middleweight champ Johnny Eblen and Fabian Edwards, who will meet September 23 in Dublin. 👀#Bellator296 pic.twitter.com/Fo30pAailz
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) May 12, 2023
The fight between Edwards (11-2 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) and Mousasi (49-8-2 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) started competitively but then became one-sided as the clock went by.
Both Mousasi and Edwards were very tentative in the first 10 minutes. Edwards did seem to press the action a little more and was able to get a decent amount of top control in Round 2. Edwards did take two illegal shots – a groin kick in the first and an illegal knee to the head in the second.
The third round was much easier to score. Edwards found his range and seemed to connect more clean shots than Mousasi. His strikes also came with higher pop, too, and rattled Mousasi more.
Edwards carried that same momentum into Round 4. Much like his brother, UFC champion Leon Edwards, Edwards was picking apart Mousasi with hard, precise single shots. Mousasi did get a takedown and brief control, but he was mainly out struck by Edwards. Edwards did get a takedown in the final 10 seconds.
The final round was the biggest for Edwards. He controlled on the feet and managed to get a takedown in the middle of the round. Once on the ground, he would transition to the back and hold that position all the way to the final bell. It was a clear win for Edwards.
.@fabianedwards24 lands at will on @mousasi_mma.#Bellator296 | 🇺🇸 @SHOsports | 🇫🇷 @RMCSport pic.twitter.com/9w9lTMSPyq
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) May 12, 2023
👀 @fabianedwards24 catches @mousasi_mma.#Bellator296 | 🇺🇸 @SHOsports | 🇫🇷 @RMCSport pic.twitter.com/zPaq2e7YQi
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) May 12, 2023
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With this result, Edwards is now on a three-fight winning streak, which includes victories over Lyoto Machida, Charlie Ward and now Mousasi. His most recent defeat came in 2021 when he lost a unanimous decision to Austin Vanderford at Bellator 259.
On the other hand, Mousasi now has back to back defeats for the first time in his 20-year career. He was coming off a unanimous decision loss to Eblen at Bellator 282 in June 2022 – a bout where he lost his middleweight title. Prior to the pair of defeats, Mousasi was on a four-fight winning streak.
Complete Bellator 296 results:
Fabian Edwards def. Gegard Mousasi via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Brent Primus def. Mansour Barnaoui via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) – to advance to lightweight grand prix semifinals
Douglas Lima def. Costello van Steenis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Thibault Gouti def. Kane Mousah via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 3:58
Denise Kielholtz def. Paula Cristina via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Luca Poclit def. Oliver Enkamp via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Saul Rogers vs. Davy Gallon declared no contest (replay review/referee error)
Yves Landu def. Piotr Niedzielski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sarvarjon Hamidov def. Kevin Petshi via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 1:33
Tim Wilde def. Chris Gonzalez via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Fabacary Diatta def. Keir Harvie via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Asael Adjoudj def. Georges Sasu via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Romain Debienne def. Bourama Camara via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 1:04
Jose Augusto def. Simon Biyong via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 296.
Bellator 296: Official scorecards from Paris
Bellator 296 live and official results
Bellator 296 results: Brent Primus outlasts Mansour Barnaoui in entertaining grand prix scrap