Mousasi vs Edwards
Bellator 296 headliner is an excellent fight to finish the night.
Former Bellator Middleweight Champion had three year reign before losing to Johnny Eblen, Gegard Mousasi has possibly one more title run in him before laying his gloves down on the mat.
Mousasi must defeat contender Fabian Edwards (younger brother of Leon Edwards) to revenge his loss against Johnny Eblen.
“I focused on wrestling and stand-up. [My teammate and former Edwards opponent Costello van Steenis] warned me about the danger of his left hand, how he’s able to strike from a distance when you think you’re not in danger. We’ll see how the fight goes. Costello was actually injured in that fight, so I think I should be ready.” Gegard Mousasi said on Bellator media day https://www.sherdog.com/videos/videointerview/Gegard-Mousasi-Im-Well-Aware-of-the-Dangers-Fabian-Edwards-Presents-19854
Mousasi vs Edwards is a passing of the torch moment as the young hungry lion “defeats” one of the best middleweights ever, win can lead to Bellator Middleweight Title Shot.
“I want a title shot, that’s it. I don’t really look at him as a like a legend or anything like that, in my eyes. He is just another man, and on Friday night I am going to go in there, put hands on him and that’s it,” he during a recent pre-fight press conference. https://www.mmamania.com/2023/5/11/23716859/fabian-edwards-doesnt-consider-gegard-mousasi-legend-expects-title-shot-win-bellator-paris
Fabian Edwards been developed under Bellator since 2019, true fighter now close to a title shot with a win against Mousasi. After two fight losing streak is now on two fight winning streak defeating legend Lyoto Machida and dominating Charlie Ward.
Changing his calculated counter striking to more aggressive striking style aiming for the power punches. Training with his brother, Arnold Allen and Jake Hadley can see the improvements.
Mousasi vs Edwards headliner will be a great fight to watch. Interested how Mousasi looks after his tough loss and how Edwards performs under the Main Event lights.
Mansour Barnaoui vs Brent Primus
One of the biggest free agent acquisitions in recent years quickly found success fighting for Bellator easily submitting Adam Piccolotti with 2nd round rear naked choke.
Mansour Barnaoui is contestant on the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix only after one Bellator fight but makes sense as the French superstar is one of the best lightweights in the world and potentially the dark horse to win the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix.
Barnaoui definitely can win the Grand Prix with the success overseas defeating Khabib’s close friend Shamil Zavurov and close fight losses to Mateusz Gamrot, Islam Makchaev and Kevin Lee.
Highly capable of defeating Brent Primus as the submission ability, speed factor from the lateral quickness, great clinch game will be the winning factors.
Brent Primus definitely overlooked in this fight as he defeated Michael Chandler at Bellator NYC, competed against Craig Jones, Jake Shields in jiu-jitsu matches. Primus is one game opponent and without a doubt can pull off the upset moving on to semi- finals and face current Bellator Lightweight Champion Usman Nurmagomedov.
“I’ve got a tough challenge ahead of my on Friday. Mansour is no joke, so I can’t take him lightly and look past him. I’m going to go out there and fight like my life depends on it, and I’m going to get the hand raised.” Brent Primus said https://cagesidepress.com/2023/05/10/bellator-296-brent-primus-media-day/
Douglas Lima vs Costello Van Steenis
Killing himself to make 170 pounds decided to make career change by moving up to 185 pounds. Glad Lima made this decision as it’s a healthier cut for him at 35 years old.
Four losses in a row since defeating Rory MacDonald. Hopefully moving up to Middleweight can return some of that championship caliber fighter. Douglas Lima might have one more title run before calling it a great career.
I definitely feel a lot healthier; I didn’t have to cut as much weight as I usually do, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m focusing just on training instead of cutting weight.” Douglas Lima said https://www.sherdog.com/videos/videointerview/Douglas-Lima-Why-Im-Moving-to-Middleweight-19852
Lima’s opponent, Costello Van Steenis can ruin any title run aspirations as the rising Middleweight has his own dreams of fighting for the title. Defeating one of the best Bellator fighters of all time can lead to a title shot in 2023.
“Lima is definitely a bigger name than anyone in the top 10 of the middleweight division,” van Steenis stated. https://cagesidepress.com/2023/05/10/bellator-296-costello-van-steenis-legend/
“He’s won the welterweight tournament, been a welterweight champion for a couple of fights. This guy is, he’s a legend. And to become a legend you need to destroy a legend.” said Costello Van Steenis
Bellator looking to build Gegard Mousasi main training partner name by giving him a hue name, all up to Van Steenis by taking advantage of the opportunity.
By far this is Costello Van Steenis toughest fight but his fighting style by bringing the pain and pressure can overwhelm Lima. Taking advantage of his prime age strength to push Lima and make his muscles tired.
Tough losses last few years but if Lima is still serious in training he can make the Dutch Middleweight life hell for three rounds. Fighting at 185 pounds watch fluidity in his movements, less gassed, more retainable energy all because he moved up fifteen pounds.
Douglas Lima vs Costello Van Steenis I hope is one great main card fight, passing of the torch moment as a new star is born from the Netherlands or we find a rejuvenated Brazilian welterweight.
“You never know until the fight starts. If I see it, I’m throwing, I know he’s going to throw the same thing. He throws a lot of kicks, a lot of punches, so it’s definitely a fight that should be very explosive,” he said. https://cagesidepress.com/2023/05/11/bellator-296-douglas-lima/