Bellator 282 results: Johnny Eblen dominates Gegard Mousasi to win middleweight title, Danny Sabatello rolls into semis


Johnny Eblen is the new Bellator middleweight champion.

In a stunning performance, the undefeated 30-year-old outclassed Gegard Mousasi both on the feet and on the ground to sweep the judges’ scorecards and win a lopsided unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) on Friday night in the main event of Bellator 282.

For Eblen (12-0), the victory was never in doubt. The American middleweight came out with a point to prove, dropping Mousasi (49-8-2) in the opening round with a hard volley of punches and nearly sending the legend home early.

Mousasi survived the horn but momentum did not return to his favour. Eblen was able to land takedown after takedown, and he stuck to Mousasi as glue on the mat. Eblen also used a combination strike attack to sever Mousasi’s feet whenever action resumed, rendering the two-time champion ineffective at getting out of first gear.

In a notable twist of fate, it was a similar sight to what played out in April 2010, when one of Eblen’s head coaches at ATT — Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal — shocked the MMA world by using his wrestling to upset Mousasi and steal away the Strikeforce light heavyweight title via decision.

“It feels right. Lawal expressed his joy at Lawal’s celebration, saying that the whole week had felt “right”. I didn’t feel that anything bigger than myself. I just like I was in the right place the whole time. This feels right. I don’t know what I’m doing right, but goddamnit, this feels good.”

Eblen is now 8-0 in the Bellator cage, while Mousasi fell to 7-2 in the promotion.

In the night’s co-main event, Danny Sabatello made good on his words, dominating Leandro Higo with his own relentless wrestling attack to win a one-sided unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) and advance into a semifinal matchup against Bellator interim bantamweight champion Raufeon Stots in the promotion’s ongoing 135-pound grand prix.

Sabatello (13-1) scored takedowns in all five rounds and bullied Higo (21-5) with ground-and-pound and consistent mat pressure for long stretches of the bout. Higo’s best moments came in Round 2, when he reversed Sabatello’s ground control by using a kimura grip to take the brash American’s back and sink in a body triangle. Higo pummeled Sabatello with elbows and punches for the rest of the round, and even threatened with a rear-naked choke, however Sabatello survived and went right back to work in Round 3.

By the end, Higo was exhausted and Sabatello was landing takedowns at will, backing up the mountains of trash talk he flung Higo’s way in the lead-up, all while being lustily booed by the crowd inside the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

” “I was warned that if I swear in my post-fight interview I may get fined,” Sabatello responded to laughter. It’s good that I don’t care ***!. I just beat an absolute animal, and not one of you is going to do s***! You want to do something? You want to do something .”


Stots then entered into the cage and cut his own promo before engaging in a tense staredown with his semifinal round foe.

“He f****** sucked! That s*** was terrible! That s*** was terrible!” Stots roared to a massive round of applause. “Goddamn. Like, all you can do is wrestle, bro. OMG! Hello Danny Sabatello! You have won an amazing .”


Magomedov ([******************************************************************************************************************************************************]) won a wild back-and-forth fight and defeated Enrique Barzola, a UFC veteran. In a wild back-and-forth fight, Magomedov (19-2) ultimately submitted Barzola (18-6-2) via fourth-round guillotine choke to advance into a matchup against Patchy Mix.

Magomedov and Barzola were fierce competitors throughout the bout. Magomedov focused a lot of his efforts on his feet while Barzola was constantly looking for ways to get to the ground. Barzola secured each his first five takedown attempts through the opening 10 minutes and took the Russian’s back several times, however Magomedov was consistently able to escape and tag the Peruvian with vicious left hands and spinning attacks.

As rounds progressed, Magomedov started to understand Barzola’s timing for his takedown attempts. This eventually led to the final sequence. It was a thing of beauty — in one fluid motion, Magomedov snaked in a slick guillotine choke on another takedown attempt and squeezed with all of his might to coax out the first tapout of Barzola’s career. The official end of the contest came at 1:27 of Round 4.

” I knew that he would wrestle with me. After the second round, I told my corners, ‘I’m going to catch him now.’ You saw what happened,” Magomedov said.

Brennan Ward began his violent comeback with an in-round TKO against Kassius Kayne.

Competing for the second time since his five-year layoff due to struggles with drug addiction, Ward (16-6) came out on fire, tagging Kayne (12-8) with hard punches and repeatedly dragging him down to the mat throughout the opening frame. Ward continued that torrid pace in Round 2, rocking Kayne with a series of powerful shots along the fence before convincing referee Marc Goddard to jump in and stop the contest after landing a massive right hand to the body of Kayne.

It was another instance of Ward’s “kill-or-be killed” tactics. The 33-year-old Connecticut native has yet to reach the judges’ scorecards in his 18 career bouts with Bellator.

“People say, ‘Oh, he’s on the main card, he’s on the main card. Ward stated that there are world champions on the subcard. “I am on the main card, because I f ****** finish eating. That’s what I do.”

Complete Bellator 282 results can be seen below.

Main Card

  • Johnny Eblen def. Gegard Mousasi via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • Danny Sabatello def. Leandro Higo via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
  • Magomed Magomedov def. Enrique Barzola via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:27 of Round 4
  • Brennan Ward def. Kassius Kayne via TKO (punches) at 1:11 of Round 2

Preliminary Card (Replay on MMA Fighting)

  • Killys Mota def. Dan Moret via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Lucas Brennan def. Johnny Soto via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:34 of Round 1
  • Alexander Shabliy def. Brent Primus via KO (punches) at 1:22 of Round 2 | Watch finish
  • Cat Zingano def. Pam Sorenson via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-27, 29-27)
  • Anatoly Tokov def. Muhammed Abdullah via TKO (punches) at 2:28 of Round 1
  • Sabah Homasi def. Maycon Mendonca KO (punches) at 0:58 of Round 1 | Watch finish
  • Ilara Joanne def. Alejandra Lara via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-27)
  • James Gonzalez def. Cody Law via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 30-26)
  • Aaron Jeffery def. Fabio Aguiar via TKO at 3:32 (knees and punches) of Round 2
  • Mandel Nallo def. Bryce Logan via TKO (punches) at 1:07 of Round 1