Bellator 282 predictions Gegard Mousasi vs. Johnny Eblen: Fight card, start time, odds, live stream
Live: Bellator 282 ceremonial weigh-in video stream | Mousasi vs. Eblen
Bellator 282 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville and features 14 bouts including a middleweight title fight and two bantamweight grand prix tournament bouts.
Bellator 282 is set to go down tomorrow night (Fri., June 24, 2022) from inside Mohegan Sun Aren in Uncasville, Connecticut. Headlining the event will be a Middleweight title fight between division kingpin, Gegard Mousasi, taking on undefeated contender, Johnny Eblen (11-0). In the co-main event, Leandro Higo takes on Danny Sabatello, while Magomed Magomedov takes on Enrique Barzola, both Bantamweight Grand Prix fights.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Leandro Higo has arguably the stiffest test of his career Friday, but he’s not too concerned.
Higo (21-5 MMA, 4-3 BMMA) takes on the brash Danny Sabatello (12-1 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) in the quarterfinals of the bantamweight grand prix at Bellator 282. Sabatello is more than a 5-1 favorite in the fight.
But Higo said Sabatello can talk all he wants. He plans on heading into the semifinals not only with a win, but with a finish.
“I’m always excited to fight everyone – be it Sabatello, be it (Raufeon) Stots, (Magomed) Magomedov,” Higo told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s media day. “Whoever’s there, I’m always excited to face them. I’m not here to talk trash. I’m here to be the champion. The time for me to talk … is Friday night, because once that door closes, I’m going to punch him in the mouth.”
Check out Higo’s full media day interview in the video above.
Bellator 282 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Atop the card, middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi (49-7-2 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) defends his title against undefeated American Top Team product Johnny Eblen (11-0 MMA, 7-0 BMMA). In the co-main event, bad blood boils over as bitter rivals Leandro Higo (21-3 MMA, 4-3 BMMA) and Danny Sabatello (12-1 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) finally will get their hands on one another in a grand prix quarterfinal. Also part of the tournament, Enrique Barzola (18-5-1 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) takes on Magomed Magomedov (18-2 MMA, 2-1 BMMA).
The 28 fighters competing on the card tipped the scales Thursday at the host hotel. MMA Junkie was on scene as all fighters made weight. Magomedov was the lone fighter to miss on his initial attempt, as he claimed he was unaware grand prix fighters are not allowed an extra pound. After he missed at 135.25, he came back 10 minutes later and made weight with seemingly relative ease.
The full Bellator 282 weigh-in results include:
MAIN CARD (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET)
Champion Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Johnny Eblen (185) – for middleweight title
Leandro Higo (134.75) vs. Danny Sabatello (134.75) – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal
Enrique Barzola (135) vs. Magomed Magomedov (135) – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal
Kassius Kayne (169.75) vs. Brennan Ward (171)
PRELIMINARY CARD (MMA Junkie, 6 p.m. ET)
Dan Moret (155.5) vs. Killys Mota (155.5)
Lucas Brennan (145.75) vs. Johnny Soto (145.5)
Brent Primus (156) vs. Alexander Shabliy (155.75)
Pam Sorenson (146) vs. Cat Zingano (145.25)
Muhammad Abdullah (184.25) vs. Anatoly Tokov (186)
Sabah Homasi (170) vs. Maycon Mendonca (170.75)
Ilara Joanne (125) vs. Alejandra Lara (125.5)
James Gonzalez (145.75) vs. Cody Law (145.75)
Fabio Aguiar (184) vs. Aaron Jeffery (184.25)
Bryce Logan (156) vs. Mandel Nallo (155.5)
Asked how much fun he was having at the Bellator 282 media teleconference, middleweight champ Gegard Mousasi didn’t even give a number.
“Not at all,” he told MMA Fighting. “I need to cut weight, and I was too heavy, so I’m going to do that.”
Hearing how much weight Mousasi needed to cut to make the 185-pound limit, it’s no wonder. As of Wednesday afternoon, he said he was 209 pounds, meaning he needed to lose 24 pounds. He successfully made championship weight Thursday morning, stepping to the scale at 185 pounds.
“Yeah, but I drank a lot of water, so I hope to pee a lot,” the champ said with a smile about 24 hours before official weigh-ins for the third defense of his second reign as titleholder. “Uh yeah, I got lazy a little bit with the weight cut. I like to eat, and I’m old and I’m tired of cutting weight. So I cheated a little bit, but I will make weight. That’s no problem.”
Mousasi has never missed weight in any major MMA promotion (in 2008, he came in heavy for a fight with Evangelista Santos in a regional Canadian show). But for someone who doesn’t like to cut weight, he certainly gave himself a lot to lose.
“I always make weight,” he added. “One time I missed weight, but I thought the weigh-in was another day, so I missed that weight. But otherwise, I always make weight.”
Mousasi said fight week is never something he looks forward to.
“I’m never happy while I’m in fight week,” he said. “Well, I enjoy fight week. I hang out with my friends, go swimming, go shopping; I bought a lot of clothes. But weight-cut day is s*****, and the fight day is s*****.
“Other than that, everything is OK. Other than that, I don’t like to travel, either.”
The miserable hunger, the long hours in planes, they’re something the champ suffers through because he has a goal in mind.
“Wanting to make more money,” he said with a sheepish grin. “That’s the thing.”
Mousasi said he could retire if he wanted. He owns several investments in his adopted home in Netherlands, including an apartment complex. It’s his family obligations that keep him going.
“[I’m] refinancing end of the year, and then it’s milking the cow,” he said. “But a little bit more money doesn’t hurt. ... The thing is, I’m not one person. I could retire easily, and cannot spend all the money. But I have my brother, brother’s wife, cousin, sister, sister’s husband, children, my mother, friend, dad, my friend. So it’s always need of more.”
For some, that might not be the right reason to step into the cage. But just like dropping a mountain of weight the night before a fight, Mousasi has been doing it so long and so well, what can you say?
Johnny Eblen is his opponent on Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Fighting out of American Top Team, Eblen is coached by Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, the opponent who smothered him 12 years ago to capture the Strikeforce light heavyweight title.
Eblen is promising a well-rounded threat, though it seems logical Lawal might suggest an easier path to victory.
“I don’t plan to lay on my back, so it’s getting right back up right away if he takes me down,” Mousasi counters.
The most recent two opponents, John Salter and Austin Vanderford, were best-suited to grind him out. Instead, they wound up concussed.
Mousasi next hopes to challenge for the light heavyweight title after champ Vadim Nemkov and Corey Anderson settle a score from a no-contest in their previous bout. Either one is a suitable to the middleweight champ. The belt is a nice accoutrement. The real benefit is a little more milk.