Gegard Mousasi has the first challenger for his second reign at 185 pounds.
The middleweight champion defends his title against John Salter (18-4) in the main event of Bellator 264 on Aug. 13, which takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. MMA Fighting confirmed the news with sources with knowledge of the bout following an initial report by MMA Junkie.
Mousasi (47-7-2) regained the Bellator middleweight title at Bellator 250 in October with a unanimous decision win over welterweight champion Douglas Lima. The belt was vacant due to champion Rafael Lovato Jr. relinquishing the title after being diagnosed with a brain condition. It was Lovato who defeated Mousasi at Bellator 223 to end Mousasi’s first run with the belt and snap Mousasi’s eight-fight win streak. That remains Mousasi’s only loss in Bellator.
He has since rebounded with back-to-back wins over Lima and Lyoto Machida.
Salter has won three straight fights and gone 8-1 inside the Bellator cage to earn his shot at the title. His current streak of success includes a submission of Andrew Kapel in his most recent outing at Bellator 244, and a unanimous decision win over Mousasi protege Costello van Steenis at Bellator 233. The 12-year veteran has scored all but one of his pro victories by knockout or submission.