Bellator 200 results: Gegard Mousasi earns gold with title win over Rafael Carvalho

Eight months after a nearly disastrous Bellator MMA debut, Gegard Mousasi made good on the company's investment in him after coming over as a big-name free agent from UFC.

Mousasi (44-6-2) needed just over three minutes to finish middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho on Friday in a dominant performance that headlined Bellator 200 at SSE Arena in London. The original main event of heavyweights Mirko Filipovic and Roy Nelson was canceled following an injury to "Cro Cop" earlier this week.

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A former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion who also won a pair of titles in Dream and has competed around the world, the 32-year-old Mousasi took down Carvalho (15-2) early in Round 1 and never let up with relentless pressure.

Mousasi, a native of Iran, quickly moved into full mount and began reining down punches against the Brazilian, who hadn't lost under the Bellator banner and was riding a 15-fight win streak after dropping his pro debut in 2011.

The key to Mousasi's assault was just how patient he remained despite obtaining a dominant position on the ground. After his accurate punches became too much, Carvalho gave up his back. That's when Mousasi's ground-and-pound shifted into overdrive until referee Dan Miragliotta rescued a defenseless Carvalho at 3:35.

"It feels good, I worked hard for this," Mousasi said. "It was a five-round fight and I was thinking it could go all five but I have been fighting and wrestling with heavy guys and my strength is there when I'm in top position."

The victory was a complete reversal from Mousasi's Bellator debut in October when he suffered an early eye injury and was lucky to take home a disputed decision win over former middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko.

After capturing his new world title, Mousasi instantly called out a new opponent.

"I think everyone wants to see Rory MacDonald," Mousasi said. "Hopefully he doesn't chicken out and we have a fight."

Arguably the biggest signing in Bellator history in terms of a talented fighter in his prime, MacDonald (20-4) instantly tweeted his hope for the fight to be booked when he tagged president Scott Coker.

MacDonald, 28, made his Bellator debut last May when he submitted Paul Daley. In January, he came back to win a violent five-round decision over Douglas Lima to win the promotion's welterweight championship. Despite their weight differences, both Mousasi and MacDonald have expressed interest in competing in multiple divisions while with Bellator.

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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