Gegard Mousasi was successful in his Bellator debut, but it wasn’t easy.
Mousasi took on Alexander Shlemenko last night (Oct. 20). The two fought inside the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. It was the main event of Bellator 185.
Mousasi’s right eye was shut quickly in the opening round. As a result he was tentative, ate some shots and had many takedown attempts stuffed. In the end, he did enough in rounds one and two to earn a decision win.
Speaking to the media after the fight, Bellator President Scott Coker talked about Mousasi’s debut with the promotion (via MMAJunkie.com):
“Here’s how I feel about it: When I owned Strikeforce and we were doing fights back in the day, we had some of the best fighters on the planet, and it was like, ‘Well, the UFC guys are better than the Strikeforce guys.’ Then look what happened. Tyron Woodley, Luke Rockhold, Daniel Cormier – those are all (Strikeforce) guys. It’s just that people when they come over here feel it should be easy, but Shlemenko is a guy that had 55, 60 fights. That’s going to be a guy that’s dangerous.
To me, I think the people that have come over here from other leagues, they’ve had a hard time. I just say, ‘Hey, welcome to Bellator. This is going to be a tough going for everybody.’”