It was less competition than it was coronation.
Gegard Mousasi on May 25 laid claim to the undisputed Bellator MMA middleweight championship, as he steamrolled Rafael Carvalho in the Bellator 200 main event at the SSE Arena in London. Carvalho succumbed to punches 3:35 into Round 1, the Brazilian beaten for the first time in more than six years. Now 2-0 since joining the Bellator roster, Mousasi has the look of a fighter who could enjoy a lengthy reign atop the promotion’s 185-pound weight class. He moves to No. 7 in the latest Sherdog divisional rankings, leapfrogging the in-limbo Georges St. Pierre.
Mousasi’s rout of Carvalho was not the only event to shake the middleweight division. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder Michael Bisping announced his retirement after a wildly successful 39-fight career. “The Count” had considered a farewell fight in his native England but decided against it following a violent knockout loss to Kelvin Gastelum in November. Bisping’s departure at age 39 clears the way for Derek Brunson’s return to the Top 10.
Meanwhile, Darren Till continued his climb on the welterweight ladder despite missing weight, as he took a unanimous decision from two-time title contender Stephen Thompson in the UFC Fight Night 130 headliner on May 27 in Liverpool, England. The undefeated Till held narrow statistical advantages against “Wonderboy” and authored the most significant moment of their encounter when he knocked down the South Carolina-based karateka with an overhand left in the fifth round. Just 25 years old, he has rattled off straight wins since returning from shoulder surgery in 2017.
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