Gegard Mousasi already had an opponent, now he has a time and place for his next championship fight.
Bellator announced Tuesday that the reigning middleweight champion — currently No. 3 in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings — will fight Johnny Eblen in the main event of Bellator 282 on June 24 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. A targeted June date was first reported by Ariel Helwani.
This will be Mousasi’s fifth total middleweight title defense and the third of his second title reign, which began when he defeated Douglas Lima for a vacant belt at Bellator 250 in October 2020. He has since recorded back-to-back defenses by TKO against Austin Vanderford and John Salter. With his recent win over Vanderford at Bellator 275 this past February, the 19-year veteran improved his pro record to 49-7-2.
Eblen (11-0) is undefeated in seven appearances for Bellator. He went 3-0 in 2021 and in his most recent outing at Bellator 276 on March 12, he defeated Salter by unanimous decision.
A pair of Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix quarterfinal bouts are also scheduled for Bellator 282. Magomed Magomedov and Leandro Higo will compete, but await opponents from upcoming reserve bouts that take place at Bellator 278 on April 22.
Magomedov fights the winner of a reserve bout between Enrique Barzola and Josh Hill, while Higo fights the winner of a reserve bout between Jornel Lugo and Danny Sabatello.
Also official for Bellator 282, Alejandra Lara fights Ilara Joanne in a flyweight contenders’ bout.
See the updated lineup below:
Main Card (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET)
Gegard Mousasi vs. Johnny Eblen
Magomed Magomedov vs. Enrique Barzola/Josh Hill
Leandro Higo vs. Jornel Lugo/Danny Sabatello
Preliminaries (Showtime YouTube, 6 p.m. ET)
Alejandra Lara vs. Ilara Joanne