Gegard Mousasi’s Bellator MMA debut against Alexander Shlemenko was more difficult than most expected, as he suffered a broken orbital bone in their Bellator 185 encounter in October. While Mousasi won by unanimous decision, it was not without controversy. With that said, it did nothing to alter the trajectory of his career.
Mousasi will challenge Rafael Carvalho for the undisputed middleweight championship in the Bellator 200 headliner on Friday at the SSE Arena in London. Carvalho has posted 15 straight wins, six of them in Bellator, and owns victories over Melvin Manhoef (twice), Joe Schilling and Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Alessio Sakara.
As Mousasi prepares for his latest assignment, here are some of the numbers that have come to define “The Dreamcatcher” during his 51-fight career:
6: Straight wins since he was knocked out by Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 75 September 2015. Mousasi avenged the defeat a little more than a year later.
80: Significant strikes landed on Ilir Latifi in his UFC debut; Latifi landed just 18 as a short-notice replacement for injured teammate Alexander Gustafsson. Mousasi won a three-round decision despite competing with a knee injury that later required surgery.
1: Round in which he submitted former NCAA wrestling champion Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 41 in 2014. Munoz, who had never before been submitted, tapped to a rear-naked choke 3:57 into Round 1.
3: “Performance of the Night” awards won in the UFC. Apart from his submission victory over Munoz, Mousasi also banked bonuses following knockouts of Thiago Santos and Dan Henderson.
0: Times he has had to stomach back-to-back losses. In 51 fights, Mousasi has suffered six losses, but none consecutively.
2: Fight-ending knees landed to Chris Weidman’s head at UFC 210. Referee Dan Miragliotta initially believed them to be illegal, but after consulting with fellow official John McCarthy, he awarded Mousasi the TKO.
9: Wins under the UFC banner. His three losses in the promotion came to Hall, Ronaldo Souza and former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
3: Divisions in which he has competed as a pro. Mousasi has fought at middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight, winning titles at 185 and 205 pounds.
6: Fights on his Bellator contract. Mousasi signed with the Scott Coker-led promotion in 2017.
32: Years old. Mousasi has a massive experience advantage over almost anyone his age. In addition to 50-plus MMA bouts, he has fought eight times as a professional kickboxer.