Despite Gegard Mousasi just winning the Bellator middleweight title, it appears he could be fighting at light heavyweight in the near future.
Following Mousasi’s (47-7-2 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) unanimous decision victory over Douglas Lima (32-8 MMA, 14-4 BMMA). to claim the vacant 185-pound belt on Thursday in the Bellator 250 headliner, company president Scott Coker discussed his vision for the new champion’s future.
Although Mousasi said pre-fight that he thought John Salter would be the most deserving next man up at 185 pounds, Coker said he likes the idea of a jump up to 205 pounds.
Coker has touted Bellator’s light heavyweight division as the best in MMA, and he would like to see Mousasi join the ranks.
“When we signed Gegard he had a desire to fight at 205,” Coker told reporters, including MMA Junkie, post-fight at Bellator 250. “We’re going to explore that. We’ve got some great fights for him at 205. I still think we have the best 205-pound weight class in the world. We have I think six, seven, eight deep, including Corey Anderson who is going to fight Melvin (Manhoef) next week. To me, it’s something that I think he should do and he should go and try to check it out. But it’s up to him. We’ll see how he feels.”
Mousasi has dabbled at both divisions throughout his career. He was light heavyweight champion in the now-defunct Strikeforce organization, but he hasn’t fought in the division since his UFC debut against Ilir Latifi in April 2013.
Still, though, Coker sees a lot of possibilities for “The Dreamcatcher” outside of the weight class where he currently holds Bellator gold. He mentioned a number of names, and even opened the door to Mousasi getting the opportunity Lima had at Bellator 250: The chance at a title in two divisions.
“I think him fighting Ryan Bader – I could see him fighting maybe Corey Anderson,” Coker said. “There’s a lot of guys. Even fighting (Vadim) Nemkov at some point. If he wants to go for the belt, we could have that conversation. He’s been focusing on this fight, and now that it’s over, I’m going to let him rest up and then we’ll have some conversations.”