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Bellator 250: Gegard Mousasi regains MMA middleweight title

Gegard Mousasi has added another mixed martial arts title to his legacy.

The 35-year-old Mousasi, who has been an MMA fighter for 17 years, regained his Bellator MMA middleweight title at 185 pounds with a five-round unanimous decision victory over Douglas Lima, the current welterweight champion, in Thursday’s main event of Bellator 250.

The event was held at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Mousasi, who improved to 47-7-2, outfought the bigger Lima (32-8) to score a 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47 victory to reclaim the title he lost to Rafael Lovato Jr in 2019. Lovato, who was 10-0 in his his career, was forced to retire because of a brain condition called cerebral cavernoma.

The MMA veteran controlled the pace of the bout.

“I didn’t want to waste too much energy and I felt that I was winning the rounds and fighting at a good pace to pressure him backwards,” Mousasi, a former Strikeforce Lightweight champion, told CBS Sports.com after the win. “I was scoring the rounds and I thought this was maybe good to secure the last round with a takedown. The takedowns secured the round, and I got the win.”

Mousasi’s win didn’t come easily as Lima used leg strikes in the closing minutes of the final round, but it wasn’t enough.

“The last round, he hit me a couple times and I had to show a good poker face but he really hurt me,” Mousasi said. “I felt like Douglas Lima was in his prime and he even looked big. He didn’t look like a welterweight but I thought I had the technical advantage. I could mix in the takedowns but he was good enough that I couldn’t put him away. Another guy I probably would have finished. He was game, he was experienced and he paces himself.”

For Mousasi, it was his 10th victory in his last 11 bouts, which includes his final five UFC bouts before he joined Bellator in 2017.

“The last round, he hit me a couple times and I had to show a good poker face but he really hurt me,” Mousasi said. “I felt like Douglas Lima was in his prime and he even looked big. He didn’t look like a welterweight but I thought I had the technical advantage. I could mix in the takedowns but he was good enough that I couldn’t put him away. Another guy I probably would have finished. He was game, he was experienced and he paces himself.”

In one of the undercard bouts Jake Hager, a former WWE and current All Elite Wrestling star, improved to 3-0 in his MMA career, but it wasn’t easy.

Hager had to overcome some big shots from Brandon Calton to earn a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

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