Bellator 206 was one of the year’s biggest MMA events regardless of organization. And in its headliner, we saw a fight that we never expected to see.
For Bellator, history was on the line as they put two champions against each other for the very first time. Moving up and looking to become the first Bellator dual-division champion was the longtime welterweight elite, Rory “Red King” MacDonald. Standing in his way was the Dutchman, Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi.
After a compelling and tactical first round on the feet that saw Mousasi edge it out with his laser beam-like jab, he firmly took over in the second after MacDonald went for an ill-advised Imanari roll that cost him the fight.
Mousasi would control MacDonald from the top where he would begin to rain down with a nasty onslaught of elbows and punches before MacDonald just couldn’t take it anymore and tapped to the strikes.
Although this was arguably the biggest fight of the 33-year old Mousasi’s career, it was indeed one that will one way or another come towards the end of his illustrious career. It’s easy to forget that Mousasi has been actively competing since 2003 and has fought in 53 professional MMA bouts.
Because of this, Mousasi is acknowledging that there isn’t much left for him in the sport and that his health is a great concern of his as he recently told Omroepwest.
The current Bellator middleweight champion states that he would like to compete for one more year which should equal out to three more fights. Mousasi already has those planned out too as he has made it clear that for his next two he would like to take on the unbeaten Rafael Lovato Jr then rematch Lyoto Machida if Machida gets by Rafael Carvalho in December.
Assuming Mousasi is to get both of those fights then get the jobs done in each, it leaves the door wide open to a potentially perfect storybook ending with another super fight this time coming against the light heavyweight champion (and possibly heavyweight champion by that time) Ryan Bader.
That remains just as speculation though. What we do know for sure is that Mousasi has earned his right to do whatever he likes at this point and there’s no denying that he’s earned his spot in MMA history as one of the middleweight and light heavyweight division’s all-time best.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/8/2018