Ahead of his title defence against Johnny Eblen at Bellator 282, current Bellator Middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi stated that he believes he’s the best middleweight on the planet.
Mousasi is known for his brilliant kickboxing and has been a champion in Cage Warriors and Strikeforce before becoming Bellator Middleweight Champion twice.
A win tonight at Bellator 282 will take him to 50 wins and 7 losses at the age of 36 an incredible record that can’t be matched by any of his foes for the title of the best middleweight in the world.
However, the record isn’t the only thing that matters. How you win is pivotal, and when you look at Mousasi’s competition, Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker, who both fight in the UFC, they’ve kept a clear gap between them and the rest of the division as they’ve beaten the majority of the contenders convincingly with the level of UFC opposition being considerably better than Bellator.
That’s not to say Mousasi only beats weak competition, when he was in the UFC he beat the likes of Thiago Santos and Chris Weidman, two men who have reached high rankings in either the UFC middleweight and light heavyweight division.
I find it difficult to rank Bellator fighters because the quality of talent differs drastically from division to division however according to Tapology, Mousasi is the 20th best middleweight in the world which is ridiculous to me. Somehow Edmen Shabazayan is ranked 16th so I think it’s safe to say those rankings are void.
In my opinion, Adesanya and Whittaker are currently clear of the pack when it comes to the middleweights. Then I’d say it’s between Mousasi, his teammate and fellow Dutchman, Reinier de Ridder who is the current ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight champion who’s looked formidable so far in his career and Marvin Vettori, who I believe is on the same level as those two despite the fact he’s ranked lower than Jared Cannonier, the man next in line for the UFC Middleweight strap.
I’d put it like this,
- Israel Adesanya
- Robert Whittaker
- Gegard Mousasi
- Reiner De Ridder
- Marvin Vettori
Funnily enough, this ranking could change in the space of a week depending on how Mousasi and Adesanya perform tonight and next Saturday. I think both men will retain their championships but in MMA anything can happen.