It was unfortunate to hear that Mirko Cro Cop pulled out of his main event matchup against Roy Nelson with just a few days to go until Friday night’s Bellator 200 event, which takes place at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London, England. Cro Cop had been on a nice roll fighting over in RIZIN and this rematch against Nelson, who beat him via TKO at UFC 137 back in 2011, was going to be a fun fight, with the winner set to be an alternate in Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament. But Cro Cop is hurt and now the fight with Nelson is off. But as disappointing as it is that the fight was cancelled, there is a silver lining in this, and that’s because the co-main event between Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho and challenger Gegard Mousasi has been elevated to the main event. This gives both men more of the spotlight headed into one of Bellator’s biggest cards ever, and it’s well deserved considering they are two of the best fighters on the Bellator roster.
The truth is, Carvalho vs. Mousasi should have been the main event the entire time since it’s a title fight between two of the best middleweights in the world. But it was understandable that Bellator wanted to go with two bigger names in Cro Cop and Nelson as the main event. Still, the fact Carvalho vs. Mousasi is the main event now just seems right. Both guys deserve the main event status they have now, and it’s also going to be a much bigger deal if Mousasi goes out there and makes history with a win over Carvalho. That’s because Mousasi, who was the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, will be attempting to make MMA history when he looks to become the first fighter to ever win a title in Strikeforce and Bellator. Marloes Coenen and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal have both tried to do the same thing, but neither was able to accomplish this rare feat. Mousasi, though, has a really good chance to get the job done because he matches up really with with Carvalho, as he should be able to stand and trade with him on the feet and also have the edge if the fight goes to the ground. Carvalho is an underrated talent, but Mousasi is world class, and he’s favored to win this fight for a reason.
After winning five-straight fights in the UFC and reaching free agency on a high note, Mousasi signed with his former Strikeforce boss Scott Coker in Bellator and his debut in his new promotion resulted in a victory as he was able to sneak out a close decision win over Alexander Shlemenko to earn a shot at Carvalho’s belt. Part one is now out of the way as Mousasi has secured his title shot, and now he has to go out there and complete part two, and that’s beating Carvalho to win the Bellator middleweight title and make history as the first Strikeforce and Bellator champion ever.
Think about all the fighters who have fought in Strikeforce and Bellator and it makes this possible accomplishment by Mousasi even more impressive. He still has to go out there and get the job done with a win over Carvalho, but stylistically he really should be able to win this fight and make history. The fact he will get the chance to do so in the main event makes it even sweeter for Gegard Mousasi. He and Carvalho deserved to be the main event of this card from the start, so the fact Cro Cop pulled out of the Nelson fight just seems like something the MMA Gods have done in order to make things right again. He’s going to make history anyways as the only fighter to compete at both UFC 200 and Bellator 200, and now Gegard Mousasi will get the chance to further his place in the history books by becoming the first Strikeforce and Bellator champ ever.
Will Gegard Mousasi walk away with gold at Bellator 200?