In his quest to become Bellator middleweight champion, Gegard Mousasi will make his promotional debut against a former titlist.
The UFC and Strikeforce veteran will square off against Alexander Shlemenko in the Bellator 185 headliner on Oct. 20, the Callifornia-based organization announced Friday night. The card will take place the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and will also see Muhammed Lawal face Liam McGeary in the evening’s co-main event. The card will air on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
Mousasi officially signed with Bellator earlier this week after a 12-fight stint with the UFC. He enters the matchup on a five-bout winning streak that includes triumphs over the likes of Chris Weidman, Uriah Hall, Vitor Belfort and Thales Leites.
Shlemenko, meanwhile, is unbeaten in his last seven outings. The majority of those appearances have occurred in Russia, but “Storm” did score a second-round technical knockout win over Kendall Grove at Bellator 162 last October.
Lawal last appeared at Bellator 175, where he outpointed rival Quinton Jackson to avenge a previous loss to “Rampage.” McGeary, the former light heavyweight champion, has lost two of his last three bouts, including a third-round submission defeat to Linton Vassell in his most recent outing at Bellator 179.