Bellator 185 Recap: Mousasi Wins Debut

Gegard Mousasi’s first appearance in the Bellator cage was a successful one, as the UFC veteran defeated Alexander Shlemenko in the main event of Bellator 185, which took place on Friday night from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

But the bout wasn’t all in Mousasi’s favor, however. In the opening round, Shlemenko hit Mousasi with an overhead punch that caused swelling around one of Mousasi’s eyes. Mousasi, who was one of the UFC’s highest-ranked middleweight contenders before jumping ship to Bellator, was able to use his judo skills and take the fight to the ground. Shlemenko lost control of the round from that point, though he was able to avoid Mousasi trying to work in a submission.

After receiving approval from a ringside physician, the bout went into round two, where Mousasi chased Shlemenko around the cage and once again controlled the grappling game. The third round told a much different story, as Shlemenko was able to avoid Mousasi’s clutches. Shlemenko unleashed flurries of shots throughout the round, but it was too little, too late.

Mousasi swept the judges’ scorecards, winning 29-28 on all three for a unanimous decision victory.

The co-main event of the night saw Neiman Gracie remain undefeated in his young MMA career, picking up a victory over Zak Bucia. One of the younger members of the legendary Gracie family, Neiman Gracie took control of the bout from the get-go, forcing Bucia to his back and attempting a few submissions throughout the first round. While Bucia was able to survive those, he could not survive a neck crank from the Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert, as Gracie scored the second-round submission victory.

Unfortunately for Heather Hardy, her second professional MMA bout did not go as she hoped. The debuting Kristina Williams bloodied up the nose and mouth of Hardy, and the doctor forced a stop of the bout in the middle of the second round, giving Williams the TKO win.

Bellator 185 Results:
Middleweight: Gegard Mousasi def. Alexander Shlemenko via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Welterweight: Neiman Gracie def. Zak Bucia via submission (neck crank) (Rd. 2, 2:27)
Women’s Flyweight: Kristina Williams def. Heather Hardy via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) (Rd. 2, 2:00)
Lightweight: Ryan Quinn def. Marcus Surin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Women’s Flyweight: Lisa Blaine def. Ana Julaton via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

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