Path To Bellator 282: Johnny Eblen Seems To Dethrone A Legend


#1-ranked BELLATOR middleweight contender Johnny “The Human Cheat Code” Eblen (11-0 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) is getting ready for the largest battle of his life, a BELLATOR championship matchup in opposition to reigning champion and MMA legend Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi (49-7-2 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) on Friday, June 24 on the Mohegan Solar Enviornment.

Eblen, 30, started his blended martial arts journey as a wrestler. His grappling acumen was elevated to new heights on the College of Missouri, a wrestling program that has produced such skills as MMA champions Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley, and Michael Chandler. In school, Eblen was a 2015 NCAA Championships qualifier and a two-time Educational All-MAC Staff member.

Throughout his MMA tenure, Eblen has been a longtime member of the celebrated American Prime Staff gymnasium in Coconut Creek, Florida, the place he trains recurrently alongside standout skills comparable to BELLATOR welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov, Jorge Masvidal, and ranked BELLATOR contenders like Alexander Shabliy, Danny Sabatello, and Sabah Homarsi, amongst others.

“The Human Cheat Code” rattled off 4 straight first-round finishes to kickstart his MMA profession, catching the attention of BELLATOR scouts and signing with the promotion in 2019. It has been a speedy ascent up the middleweight rankings for Eblen ever since.

Eblen stored his momentum rolling contained in the BELLATOR cage with unanimous resolution victories over opponents way more skilled than him in Chauncey Foxworthy, Mauricio Alonso, and Taylor Johnson. Nevertheless, it was in 2021 that he really cemented his standing as one in all BELLATOR’s most promising up-and-coming skills.


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2021 noticed Eblen notch one other three dominant victories, together with his first two BELLATOR stoppages. In Might, he charged at Daniel Madrid and dropped him with a thunderous left hook earlier than swarming him on the canvas with fight-ending ground-and-pound strikes within the first spherical of their BELLATOR 258 affair.

He adopted up the emphatic victory with one other unanimous resolution win over former heavyweight Travis Davis in July, outclassing his opponent within the wrestling exchanges and showcasing his continued progress within the placing. The BELLATOR 262 foremost card win marked Eblen’s first look on a BELLATOR foremost card, a standing Eblen has maintained ever since. 

To shut out the yr, Eblen scored one more first-round knockout, this time over a highly-touted prospect in Collin Huckbody. Huckbody, a potent submission risk who at one time held the Cage Fury Preventing Championships title and was signed to the UFC, was no match for the crushing punches of Eblen up in opposition to the cage fencing. The December win put an exclamation mark on Eblen’s stellar 2021, setting him up for a high-stakes matchup with current title challenger John Salter to kick off his 2022 efforts.

Salter had simply come up brief in opposition to middleweight kingpin Gegard Mousasi coming into the battle with Eblen, indicating simply how vital the matchup could be for Eblen’s burgeoning title aspirations. Regardless of an expertise hole of over 15 fights — 5 greater than Eblen had even competed in himself — it was Eblen who fought to a clear 30-27 unanimous resolution throughout all three judges’ scorecards, notching one more high-caliber win and securing himself a crack at Mousasi.

Dethroning the champion might be no simple activity for Eblen, because the BELLATOR middleweight kingpin has defend his title twice throughout his present reign. Each defenses, in opposition to Salter and previously-undefeated Austin Vanderford, have been wrestlers. Mousasi famous this, explaining at the current BELLATOR 282 digital press convention, “The final two opponents have been [of a] comparable type, wrestlers, so mainly, I’ve been coaching for a preventing type much like Eblen for nearly a yr now.”

That doesn’t part Eblen, who mentioned on the identical press convention, “Each battle I’ve ready for is sort of a title battle in my head, I method every thing the identical. Clearly, I’m preventing Gegard Mousasi, so it’s totally different, however for this reason I put together the way in which I do, for moments like this.”

Eblen is assured in his talents, and he believes a win over Mousasi will each entertain and shock followers in addition to jumpstart his legacy within the sport.

“This battle goes to solidify my identify and begin my legacy. That is going to place an enormous exclamation level after my identify – persons are going to be speaking about me. Particularly with what I’m going to do in opposition to Gegard, I’m going to punch him within the face, I’m going to take him down, it’s going to be enjoyable, I like his type, however there’s issues I can do primarily based off his type. It’s going to enjoyable and thrilling, don’t simply suppose I’m going to wrestle you,” he warned the champion.

The BELLATOR 282 foremost card, which options the Mousasi-Eblen title battle and two BELLATOR Bantamweight World Grand Prix quarterfinals bouts, airs stay on SHOWTIME starting at 9:00 p.m. ET.

The talent-stacked preliminary portion of the BELLATOR 282 card, which options an eye-popping 9 ranked contenders and different thrilling matchups, will start at 6:00 p.m. ET and can air stay free-of-charge on the BELLATOR YouTube channel, the SHOWTIME Sports activities YouTube channel, and on Pluto TV.

BELLATOR 282: MOUSASI VS. EBLEN MAIN CARD:
Friday, June 24 – stay on SHOWTIME
9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT 
 
Middleweight World Championship Principal Occasion: C-Gegard Mousasi (49-7-2) vs. #1-Johnny Eblen (11-0)
Bantamweight World Grand Prix: #6-Leandro Higo (21-5) vs. #9-Danny Sabatello (12-1)
Bantamweight World Grand Prix: #4-Magomed Magomedov (18-2) vs. #10-Enrique Barzola (18-5-2)
Welterweight Bout: Brennan Ward (15-6) vs. Kassius Kayne (12-7) 
 
BELLATOR 282: MOUSASI VS. EBLEN PRELIMINARY CARD:
BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel | SHOWTIME Sports activities YouTube channel | Pluto TV
6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT
 
Light-weight Bout: #2-Brent Primus (11-2) vs. #8-Alexander Shabliy (21-3)
Featherweight Bout: #2-Cat Zingano (12-4) vs. #6-Pam Sorenson (9-4)
Middleweight Bout: #5-Anatoly Tokov (30-2) vs. Muhammed Abdullah (11-5, 1 NC)
Welterweight Bout: #10-Sabah Homasi (16-10) vs. Maycon Mendonca (11-5)
Flyweight Bout: #5-Alejandra Lara (9-5) vs. Ilara Joanne (9-6)
Featherweight Bout: #9-Cody Legislation (6-0) vs. James Gonzalez (8-5)
Light-weight Bout: #9-Dan Moret (15-7) vs. Killys Mota (12-3)
Featherweight Bout: Lucas Brennan (6-0) vs. Johnny Soto (4-2)
Middleweight Bout: Fabio Aguiar (18-2) vs. Aaron Jeffery (11-3)
Light-weight Bout: Mandel Nallo (8-2, 1 NC) vs. Bryce Logan (12-6)

Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Government Author, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a ardour for Fight Sports activities and likewise a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s additionally a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.

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