Bellator 250 results, highlights: Gegard Mousasi outpoints Douglas Lima to regain middleweight title

Nearly two decades into one of MMA's most underrated careers, filled with impressive wins at multiple weight classes spread across multiple promotions, Gegard Mousasi continues to add world titles to his legacy. 

Mousasi (47-7-2) relied on his size and smarts on Thursday as the bigger man in regaining the Bellator MMA middleweight title via unanimous decision against current welterweight champion Douglas Lima (32-8) in the main event of Bellator 250 inside the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. 

The 35-year-old Mousasi, a former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and Pride veteran, took home judges scores of 48-47 and 49-46 twice to claim the vacant title he lost by majority decision to Rafael Lovato Jr. in 2019. Lovato (10-0) was forced to retire this year while dealing with a brain condition called cerebral cavernoma.

"I didn't want to waste too much energy and I felt that I was winning the rounds and fighting at a good pace to pressure him backwards," Mousasi said. "I was scoring the rounds and I thought this was maybe good to secure the last round with a takedown. The takedowns secured the round and I got the win."

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Not only did Mousasi hold a 4-0 advantage in takedowns, all which seemed to come at strategic times, he perfectly halted a final-round rally from Lima with one in the final two minutes. Using leg strikes to make Mousasi a bit stationery, Lima was enjoying his best stretch of the fight only to be stifled by Mousasi's size and control on the ground. 

Overall, Mousasi outlanded Lima by a margin of 89-50 to win his 10th fight over his last 11, including his final five with UFC before joining Bellator in 2017. 

"The last round, he hit me a couple times and I had to show a good poker face but he really hurt me," Mousasi said. "I felt like Douglas Lima was in his prime and he even looked big. He didn't look like a welterweight but I thought I had the technical advantage. I could mix in the takedowns but he was good enough that I couldn't put him away. Another guy I probably would have finished. He was game, he was experienced and he paces himself."

The potential size difference with Mousasi, a former light heavyweight who also holds wins at heavyweight, became the biggest storyline heading in. Although Lima proved strong enough to withstand Mousasi's offense on the feet in a way former Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald was unable to when he moved up to challenge Mousasi in 2018, the main issue for Lima is that he strictly didn't do enough. 

Lima, 32, was repeatedly backed up to the cage with ease and never began to take the lead offensively until the final round when he committed to leg strikes to slow Mousasi down. Whether it was being gun shy or extra protective to defend takedowns, Lima simply got started too late and performed in a less than inspiring manner despite coming in on a red-hot tear following a victory in the Bellator MMA Welterweight World Grand Prix. 

"I didn't take any unnecessary risks because when we were close, he was very wild with his hooks and one punch could finish it," Mousasi said. "I was scoring with the jab and I knew I had four rounds at least. I cruised to the victory but you can never count out the guy. He is a phenomenal fighter." 

Mousasi dominated the opening frame with a pair of takedowns, elbows from top position and a commitment to use his size to lay all over Lima, which caused the smaller fighter to look gassed shortly after Round 2. 

The remaining rounds were closer as Lima began to do just enough with his boxing skills to prevent Mousasi from completely walking him down. But the combination of Mousasi's outside leg kicks and stiff jabs seemed to be enough to edge Lima out in the close rounds.

Bellator 250 card, results

  • Gegard Mousasi (c) def. Douglas Lima via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)
  • Henry Corrales def. Brandon Girtz via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27)
  • Dalton Rosta def. Ty Gwerder via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Jake Hager def. Brandon Calton via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Sabah Homasi def. Bobby Voelker via second-round TKO (punches)
  • Johnny Eblen def. Taylor Johnson via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Adam Borics def. Erick Sanchez via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Cody Law def. Orlando Ortega via first-round submission (D'Arce choke)
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I've got it 48-47 for Mousasi as we head to the scorecards.

Give the final round to Lima, 10-9 (Overall 48-47 Mousasi).

R5: Lima lands punches from the bottom on his back but this is not enough. Great finish from Mousasi to shut down any potential drama.

R5: Very smart move by Mousasi to control from side position on the ground as the bigger man just as the leg kicks started to pile up.

R5: Lima isn't active enough or willing to go for broke to win by finish. Low outside leg kick lands for Lima and Mousasi stumbles before shooting in for a timely takedown.

R5: More leg kicks from Lima. They are starting to add up but he needs something bigger.

ROUND 5: Body kick from Lima lands. He will need more than those. Lima gets out ahead with the jab. He keeps feinting a right hand only to score with outside leg kicks.

Lima likely needs a knockout here. It's final round time.

Give the close round to Mousasi on this card, 10-9 (Overall 39-37 Mousasi).

R4: Lima collects a four-pack of leg kicks in the final 30 seconds.

R4: Constant fakes and feints from Mousasi at close range cause Lima to be gun shy. He's simply not throwing enough and Mousasi is filling in those gaps effectively.

R4: Mousasi switches stances and works kicks from the outside. Both guys trade heavy leg kicks before Mousasi begins building points with his jab.

R4: Gegard spins him back around and lands punches from the clinch. Outside leg kicks from Lima to create distance.

R4: Lima spins Mousasi around to control from the standing clinch but he's not busy at all with strikes.

ROUND 4: Lima comes out with a high kick to the side of the body. Mousasi continues to close distance with ease and cut off the cave. He shoots but Lima gives up his back and avoids going down along the cage.

R3: Lima looks exhausted and too willing to survive. Another round for Mousasi, 10-9 (Overall 29-28, Mousasi)

R3: Good defense from Mousasi to slide away from punches and push forward with leg kicks. He is constantly moving Lima to the cage.

R3: Mousasi is walking him down at will. Lima's right hands are landing only partial in return. Mousasi's pace and forward motion has been enough this round in terms of dictating the action. Lima remains too reactive.

ROUND 3: Good jabs from Mousasi. Lima is point fighting him but isn't throwing a convincing amount of volume. They trade leg kicks and both keep coming forward.

Last round could've been scored either way considering Mousasi's leg strikes had their moments. Either way, Lima needs to show out in Round 3.

Lima looks exhausted two rounds in as this fight has failed to live up to its action potential despite being an interesting chess match between elite foes.

R2: Consistent leg strikes from Mousasi are starting to add up. But give the round to Lima by doing just enough on the feet. 10-9 (Overall 19-19).

R2: Good takedown defense from Lima. He spins Mousasi around and works from the standing clinch.

R2: Mousasi finally shoots and pushes Lima back up to the cage. He's still grappling for position with his arms and head wrapped around Lima's waist as they remain standing.

R2: Lima outboxing Mousasi despite being constantly pushed backwards. Mousasi seems content not to shoot this round and it's leaving room for Lima to strike.

R2: Mousasi's leg kick is instantly countered by Lima. Another right hand hits for Lima.

R2: Big counter right hand from Lima lands flush. He needs more of that.

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