Video: Johnny Eblen says he’s the world’s best middleweight. Is he right?

Bellator very well may have found its next superstar in its middleweight champion.

This past Saturday, Johnny Eblen defended his title for the first time since he dominated all-time great Gegard Mousasi to win it in 2022. Eblen (13-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA) cruised to a unanimous decision win over Anatoly Tokov (31-4 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) in the Bellator 290 co-main event.

Eblen made the most of his opportunity. Not only did he get a win in his first title defense, but he did it on national television. Bellator 290 at at Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif., had its three-fight main card broadcast on CBS. And after he beat Tokov in front of that national audience, Eblen made sure to tell the MMA world he thinks he’s the world’s best 185-pound fighter right now.

Eblen took another step up MMA Junkie’s middleweight rankings to No. 6 with his win over Tokov. But that keeps five still ahead of him on our list: Current UFC champion Alex Pereira, former champs Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker, and recent title challengers Jared Cannonier and Marvin Vettori.

Does Eblen belong ahead of those five at the top of the middleweight heap? That’s what we asked this week’s “Spinning Back Clique” panel of Brian “Goze” Garcia, Nolan King and Danny Segura. They broke it down with host “Gorgeous” George Garcia.

Check out their discussion in the video above, and don’t miss this week’s full episode below.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 290.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie