Having lost the title in 2022, former middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi will look to rebound when he meets Fabian Edwards in the main event of Bellator Paris this year.
After a successful return to Paris last May, which featured victories for heavyweight king Ryan Bader and Yoel Romero, Bellator MMA will return to France’s capital in four months’ time.
And in the May 12 headliner, MMA great Mousasi will look to stall the charge of rising contender Edwards.
The promotion announced the news on Thursday, also confirming that the co-main event will see Sidney Outlaw and French-Tunisian fighter Mansour Barnaoui collide as part of the Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix.
The headline bout is expected to serve as a title eliminator in the 185-pound division, where America’s Johnny Eblen currently rules as champ. “The Human Cheat Code” secured his place on the throne by comfortably outpointing Mousasi (49-8-2) last June at Bellator 282.
Prior to that, Mousasi had his hand raised in Ireland, defeating Austin Vanderford to add a second defense to his second reign as middleweight titleholder. With wins over the likes of Chris Weidman, Douglas Lima, Vitor Belfort, and Ronaldo Souza, the 59-fight veteran is widely regarded as one of the greatest 185lbers of all time.
The 37-year-old will look to show that he’s not lost a step when he collides with Edwards (11-2) inside Paris’ Accor Arena. After consecutive decision losses to Costello van Steenis and Vanderford, the Jamaican-born Englishman re-railed his train to the top with victories over the legendary Lyoto Machida and Charlie Ward in 2022.
Having seen his brother, Leon Edwards, win UFC gold in 2022, Fabian will be hoping to make championship status a family affair in 2023, starting with securing a shot at the belt by defeating Mousasi on May 12.
MMA Twitter Reacts To Mousasi/Edwards Main Event
Following the announcement of Bellator’s return to French soil and the blockbuster headliner the promotion is set to bring with it, fans and pundits took to Twitter to share their takes on the news.
Some were simply pleased by the prospect of seeing Mousasi back in action.
Others assessed the matchup, noting the step up in competition it marks for 29-year-old Edwards. With the common consensus being that the victor will fight for the gold soon after, many acknowledged the magnitude of the matchup for the Brit.
In terms of the pairing itself, many fans have predicted fireworks inside the Accor Arena when Mousasi and Edwards share the cage.
Some lent their early predictions, with one fan suggesting that Edwards hasn’t impressed them enough to suggest that he may have a chance of defeating the former two-time Bellator champion.
Who do you think will have their hand raised in the Bellator Paris main event, Gegard Mousasi or Fabian Edwards?