Gegard Mousasi is again the Bellator middleweight champion after a solid, if unspectacular, win over welterweight champion Douglas Lima.
Mousasi took home scorecards of 48-48 and 49-46 twice for a patient attack that saw him pressure Lima early and take the fight to the ground at key moments. The multi-promotion champ reclaimed the title he lost to Rafael Lovato Jr., who vacated the title in February after being diagnosed with a rare brain disorder.
From the outset, Mousasi kept Lima on his heels and used a well-rounded attack to rack up points. The fight never rose above a slow simmer as both fighters threw single strikes over five rounds. Lima worked on the counter, punishing the legs, while Mousasi moved ahead and timed counters.
But to start, Mousasi wasted little time utilizing his wrestling. A few leg kicks were the tax for his first shot, and he eventually settled for the back as Lima got to his hands and knees in the opening frame. Lima fought the trip to the mat, but a nice scramble put Mousasi on top against the cage, and he quickly went to work with ground and pound.
Punches and elbows slammed into Lima for nearly one minute, but he managed to avoid a cut and survived to the first bell.
Mousasi quickly closed the distance in the second, hoping to reproduce his early success. He peppered Lima with punches, but this time, he hesitated on a takedown and paid the price as Lima snuck in counters and heavy leg kicks. With 90 seconds left, he tried for the takedown and was stuffed. The round ended with a staring contest.
The third frame was largely a copy of the second, with Mousasi using pressure to elicit a response off which he could counter. Lima’s leg kicks frequently found their target, and midway through the frame, he switched things up and went after Mousasi. It was a short-lived approach, and Mousasi soon pushed him back. The round ended with the welterweight champ firing one big combination.
Mousasi pushed early for the takedown in the fourth round and again settled at Lima’s back, stomping the foot before a trip attempt. Lima reversed, and the two jockeyed for position before breaking apart. The two continued to trade leg kicks and snipe with jabs as Mousasi pressed the action.
Lima picked up his kicking game in the final round and, for the first time, backed up Mousasi with his jab. He never threw more than two strikes, however, and Mousasi eventually caught him off-guard and completed a takedown. With just over one minute to work, Mousasi largely held position and did enough to keep his opponent grounded.
If successful against Mousasi, Lima would have been Bellator’s second two-division champion after Ryan Bader claimed the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles. But now, he moves back to the drawing board after a successful conquest of the Bellator welterweight grand prix capped off by a dominant win over Rory MacDonald.
Here are the final moments of round 3️⃣ between @PhenomLima and @Mousasi_MMA.
The #Bellator250 main event title bout is headed into the championship rounds.
Watch LIVE now on @CBSSportsNet in the and with @SkySports in the .#MMA #Bellator pic.twitter.com/eG8gZYigyM
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 30, 2020
“I had a poker face but he really hurt me.”@JohnMcCarthyMMA spoke with the new middleweight world champ @Mousasi_MMA following his win at #Bellator250 tonight. pic.twitter.com/oHATweSZps
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 30, 2020
Henry Corrales back to the win column in oddly scored bout
After a pair of setbacks, standout featherweight Henry Corrales got back to the win column with a split decision over Brandon Girtz.
Girtz’s persistent pressure convinced veteran judge Doug Crosby of a shutout over three rounds. But the remaining scorers, David Peabody and Dave Tirelli, gave Corrales every frame for the opposing 30-27 cards.
Corrales was definitely put on his heels over 15 minutes as Girtz charged in and swung for the fences. It took Corrales a little bit of patience before he began to time counters, but they changed the course of the fight.
Combined with a persistent calf kick, straight punches made Girtz’s attacks less effective as the fight went into deep waters. And when Girtz couldn’t get the takedown, his gameplan began to lag.
By the final frame, Girtz’s nose was bloodied from the repeated straight shots that Corrales timed over his hooks, and he was wobbled as a punch slammed home in the final seconds.
Corrales rebounds after losses in bouts against Darrion Caldwell and champ Juan Archuleta. Girtz, meanwhile, has now dropped back-to-back bouts.
Rosta cruises against Gwerder
Prospect Dalton Rosta continues to pick up momentum in the middleweight division.
Rosta had to earn all of his paycheck over three rounds against Ty Gwerder, but controlled the action on the feet and on the ground, where he regularly took his opponent’s back and threatened chokes.
Rosta took home unanimous 30-27 scorecards and his third win as a Bellator pro.
Full Bellator 250 results:
Gegard Mousasi def. Douglas Lima via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)
Henry Corrales def. Brandon Girtz via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27)
Dalton Rosta def. Ty Gwerder via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jake Hager def. Brandon Calton via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Sabah Homasi def. Bobby Voelker via KO (strikes) – Round 2, 0:20
Nick Newell vs. Zach Zane (canceled)
Johnny Eblen def. Taylor Johnson via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Adam Borics def. Erick Sanchez via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Cody Law def. Orlando Ortega via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1, 2:41