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Johnny Eblen confident he’s ‘a style matchup disaster’ for Alex Pereira: ‘There’s no way he beats me’

Bellator 290: Bader vs. Fedor 2 at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, CA Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Johnny Eblen is starting to make the strong argument that he’s the best Middleweight on Earth.

The reigning Bellator 185-pound kingpin secured his first successful title defense this past weekend (Feb. 4, 2023) at Bellator 290 in Los Angeles, Calif. Facing off with the equally impressive Anatoly Tokov, Eblen overcame some early adversity in round one to cruise his way to a unanimous decision win.

Eblen, 31, has been perfect in his 13 career bouts thus far, mostly utilizing his strong wrestling game to come out victorious. Knowing his capabilities, the University of Missouri alum struggles to see how the current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) titleholder, Alex Pereira, would ever get past him.

“I think I beat him. 10 times out of 10, I beat him,” Eblen told The MMA Hour. “I’m too much for the guy. I am a style match up disaster for him. He’s a style match up [that’s] great for me. I have great cardio, I can hit hard, I can take a punch, and I mix up the striking and wrestling really well. I don’t see him beating me. There’s no way. The ability of how well I can wrestle, you can’t make up for that. Especially with the time that he has in MMA, there’s no way. He’s too old. He would have had to start wrestling like 10 years ago. So, I think I’m a bad style match up for him and I think I beat him 10 times out of 10.

“I think I can beat anybody on the planet,” he continued. “I’m one of the best, if not the best Middleweight on the planet. I can’t say for sure, factually, because I haven’t fought everybody, but I think I match up damn well with every single Middleweight in the world and I think I can win every single fight.”

Despite winning the title in dominant fashion against MMA legend, Gegard Mousasi (watch highlights), Eblen noted that he didn’t start feeling this level of supreme confidence until the Tokov camp. Next for “The Human Cheat Code” could be another date with Mousasi should he get past Fabian Edwards on May 12, 2023. Meanwhile, Pereira prepares to rematch Israel Adesanya at UFC 287 on April 8, 2023.


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