Gegard Mousasi vs. Alexander Shlemenko Bellator 185 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 10/20/17
Shlemenko vs. Mousasi
Bellator: Friday, October 20, 2017 (Mohegan Sun Arena)
The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: Spike TV
Gegard Mousasi and Alexander Shlemenko fight Friday during Bellator 185 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Gegard Mousasi enters this fight with a 42-6-2 record and has won 55 percent of his fights by knockout. Mousasi has won his last five fights and is coming off a April win over Chris Weidman. Mousasi makes his Bellator debut after several fights in the UFC and being considered one of the top middleweights on the roster. Mousasi is a balanced fighter who has finished 35 of his 42 victories, but he’s mostly known as a polished striker who has a deep background in kickboxing and boxing. Mousasi is extremely dangerous on his feet where he’s won five of his last seven fights by knockout. Mousasi is also athletic and great at gaining position on the canvas where he’s produced 12 submission victories. It’s hard to get comfortable against Mousasi due to his balance and variety to his offensive game. This will be Mousasi’s second fight in Connecticut.
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Alexander Shlemenko enters this fight with a 56-9 record and has won 55 percent of his fights by knockout. Shlemenko has won five straight fights and is coming off a June win over Brandon Halsey. Shlemenko is fighting for the third time this year and hasn’t truly lost a fight since his 2014 bout with Brandon Halsey. Shlemenko is a dangerous fighter due to his ability to fight out of either stance and his constant looking for openings to knockout his opponent. You can never drop your guard against a fighter like Shlemenko, and he has the endurance to be effective throughout the entire fight. While the most effective with his standup, Shlemenko is also a polished grappler and does have nine submission victories, so he’s not pure striking like some would suggest. This will be Shlemenko’s second fight in Connecticut.
This is a must-watch event between two consistent fighters who have been two of the better middleweights in the entire MMA over the last several years. Both are highly effective standing up with great knockout power, but the difference for me is Mousasi’s ground game and the fact he’d have a considerable advantage if this were to go to the canvas. While Shlemenko can grapple and is well conditioned, he’ll really be tested by a fighter like Mousasi who is comfortable just about anywhere a fight goes. Mousasi also has a size advantage, which opens up angles when striking.
Close and fun fight, but I like Mousasi to win his Bellator debut.