Edwards cruises past Mousasi at Bellator 296 to earn title shot
PARIS - Leon Edwards captured a major MMA championship in 2022. Now, his younger brother Fabian is one victory away from doing the same.
Fabian Edwards secured a dominant win in the biggest fight of his career Friday, defeating former Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) in the main event of Bellator 296 at Accor Arena.
The 30-year-old will be the next to challenge current champ Johnny Eblen. That matchup will take place Sept. 23 in Dublin, the promotion announced after the fight.
Eblen entered the cage to face off with Edwards and they got into a bit of a scuffle.
"One more fight until I get that gold belt and join my brother and make some f-----g history," Edwards said.
Edwards' older brother, Leon, currently holds the UFC welterweight title.
Edwards controlled Mousasi in a very tactical affair. He landed hard punches and leg kicks and scored multiple takedowns throughout the five-round victory.
Mousasi's best round came in the fourth. He dragged Edwards to the mat, reached full mount, and then took his back. But Edwards eventually got up and grinded out Mousasi in the fifth round to complete his statement victory.
The Brit has now won three in a row, a streak that includes a vicious TKO finish of MMA legend Lyoto Machida. Mousasi, 37, has dropped two straight for the first time in his 20-year career.
Mousasi is a former two-time Bellator middleweight champion and ex-UFC contender. He lost the belt to Eblen last June in his most recent fight before Friday.
In the co-main event, former Bellator champion Brent Primus upset surging Frenchman Mansour Barnaoui to advance to the semifinals of the Lightweight Grand Prix and earn a title shot against current titleholder Usman Nurmagomedov.
Also on the card, former welterweight champ Douglas Lima edged out a decision victory over Costello van Steenis to snap a four-fight skid and return to the win column for the first time since October 2019.