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Gegard Mousasi will make his Bellator debut at Bellator 185 against former champion Alexander Shlemenko.
Gegard Mousasi is one of the best middleweights in the world. There’s no way around that. This fact makes it all the more surprising that Mousasi left the UFC in order to join Bellator earlier this year. What’s even more uncommon is that Mousasi is currently on a five-fight winning streak dating back to February 2016 and has finished all four of his last opponents via KO/TKO.
Mousasi is a weapon of mass destruction and many believe that he’ll storm his way through the Bellator ranks before claiming the Middleweight Championship and then move up a weight division to win another championship, as well.
Height: 6’1″ (186cm)
Reach: 76.0″ (193cm)
Odds: 6/25 1.24 -417 0.24 -4.17 0.24
Alexander Shlemenko is the perfect man to welcome Gegard Mousasi to Bellator. Shlemenko has been fighting with the organization since Bellator 16 way back in 2010. He held the belt through 2013 and defended it three times successfully before eventually losing it to Brandon Halsey, who submitted him in the first round.
Since that day, though, Alexander Shlemenko has remained undefeated through seven fights.
Height: 5’11” (180cm)
Reach: 70.5″ (179cm)
Odds: 3/1 4.00 +300 3.00 3.00 -0.33
Shlemenko is at his best when he pushes opponents back to the cage. His favorite techniques to make people back up are spinning attacks, such as spinning back fists, and kicks, as well.
Once there, he punishes the body with punches like nearly no one else in mixed martial arts.
Mousasi will be entirely aware of way Shlemenko operates, it’s just a matter of executing his gameplan perfectly.
For Gegard Mousasi, he’ll need to slip to the outside whenever Shlemenko attempts a spinning kick, rather than moving backward. The natural instinct here is to move back to avoid the range of the strike, but this is exactly when fighters find themselves backed against the cage and in trouble.
If Mousasi keeps his back away from the cage, he has the overall ability to defeat Shlemenko – especially if he can take him down to the mat. Mousasi’s submission game is strong and could be the best path forward for Mousasi in this one, especially if he is having difficulty standing up with Shlemenko.
Shlemenko is an incredibly dangerous fight for Gegard Mousasi and it seems as though there is a lot of ‘UFC hype’ around him, much similar to what we have seen from Lorenz Larkin and other fighters who have crossed over. Shlemenko is no joke and the bookmakers have this one very, very wide.
We’ll take the value play and bet on Shlemenko.
Prediction: Alexander Shlemenko by KO/TKO round three
Gegard Mousasi vs. Alexander Shlemenko
Friday, October 20 – (9:00pm ET / 1:00am GMT)
Odds: 5/1 6.00 +500 5.00 5.00 -0.20 @ Bet365
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