Bellator 250: “Lima vs. Mousasi” comes to Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., tomorrow evening (Thurs., Oct. 29, 2020), airing on CBS Sports Network. The vacant Middleweight title should, in theory, find a new owner after the night’s main event.
Let’s break it down:
185 lbs.: Douglas Lima (32-7) vs. Gegard Mousasi (46-7-2)
I feel a strong sense of deja vu here. I’m reminded of the time Rory MacDonald went up to 185 pounds to face Gegard Mousasi and was promptly dissected and finished by the bigger, badder man. The good news for Lima is that he’s a better fighter than MacDonald, proving that late last year when he took back the Welterweight title and sent MacDonald packing. At 6’1” with a 74.5-inch reach, though, he still gives up size to the 6’2,” 76-inch reach of Mousasi, much like MacDonald did before him. I don’t think the disparity will be as big this time given Lima is a naturally big and strong 170-pound fighter, plus he’s had more than one year to get ready.
Mousasi has been sitting on the bench just as long, though, and after being humbled by the man who was forced to vacate the title, Mousasi has to feel the belt is in his grasp once again. While “The Phenom” Lima has always been known for strong grappling and sterling power, Mousasi is one of the most well rounded and decorated fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) history. The only major promotion where he didn’t hold gold was UFC, and he was certainly knocking on that door when he surprised the world by jumping to Bellator. If recent history has taught us anything it’s that it takes a world class gold medalist in jiu-jitsu to overcome Mousasi’s incredibly well rounded skill set.
Even though the odds will undoubtedly favor the man who has spent more of his career fighting in a bigger weight class, history has also shown us that former champions lose, current champions lose, and with very few exceptions everybody will lose. I feel a slight lean to Lima because he seems to have gotten better in each of his last three fights, methodically dissecting his way through Andrey Koreshkov, Michael Page and the aforementioned Rory MacDonald one-by-one. At only 32 years old, I suspect he’s just now hitting the prime years of his career, and while Mousasi is only a few years older by age at 35, he’s much older by volume of fights. The wear-and-tear of an MMA career can make even legends suddenly appear fragile at the snap of a finger.
Final prediction: Douglas Lima via unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Brandon Girtz (16-9) vs. Henry Corrales (17-5)
If I’m being honest here I don’t think it serves Brandon Girtz well to move down to Featherweight. At 5’7” with a 67-inch reach he wasn’t big at 155 pounds, but even at 145 pounds he still won’t dwarf the competition. He’s not even bigger than Henry Corrales, who is 5’8” with a 70-inch reach, and Corrales has some serious punching power for this division. He may have lost two back to back decisions, but seven wins by knockout means if he pulls the trigger Girtz will fall. The thing Girtz is best known for at this point in his career is a bloody war that he lost, and I don’t think trying to instigate one with Corrales turns out any better.
Final prediction: Henry Corrales via knockout
185 lbs.: Dalton Rosta (3-0) vs. Ty Gwerder (5-1)
A late addition to the Bellator 250 card sees two promising Middleweights looking to elevate themselves on the same card where a new champion will be crowned. Gwerder is 1-1 in his two Bellator appearances, but his stock went up after a TKO win last month. Rosta started out at 205 but has punched his way into the Middleweight class figuratively and literally with all three wins coming by TKO before the end of round two. Both are so young in their career that it’s hard to see significant upside or downside to their trajectory. The one thing that does stand out is that Rosta has been calling out Dillon Danis, saying he’s a fraud and that he’d be happy to expose him the first chance that he gets. A win on television with an opportunity to call him out in front of a live audience is the kind of motivation he needs.
Final prediction: Dalton Rosta via first round TKO
265 lbs.: Jake Hager (2-0, 1 NC) vs. Brandon Calton (2-0)
This is a bonus “swing bout” prediction! Bellator MMA would like to see Jake Hager, better known as “Jack Swagger” from his WWE days, to become a superstar fighter it could build a Heavyweight division around. Bellator signed him because he already has down the showmanship and charisma in front of a camera. He knows how to cut a promo. All it needs to do is give him fights he can win for as long possible until he’s ready to headline an event. Brandon Calton is 40 years old, he’s a former Super Heavyweight on the amateur circuit, and he’s going to be unable to handle the wrestling that a former University of Oklahoma athlete can put on him ... although both Hager and the promotion would be pleased to see him finish standing.
Final prediction: Jake Hager via first round technical knockout
That’s a wrap!
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