Gegard Mousasi proved Austin Vanderford is not quite ready to take the jump to the championship level at Bellator 275.
During Friday’s headliner at 3Arena in Dublin, Mousasi (49-7-2 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) defeated Vanderford (11-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) via TKO at 1:25 of Round 1 to successfully defend his Bellator middleweight championship.
From the get-go, Mousasi showed to be the more technical and accurate striker. The first big shot Mousasi landed hurt Vanderford, who never appeared to fully recover.
Mousasi powerfully stuffed Vanderford, who covered up. Mousasi rained down hellacious strikes until referee Kerry Hatley dove in. Vanderford rolled over and clutched his left shoulder, which appeared to be injured as a result of Mousasi’s hard sprawl.
“I’m the best middleweight,” Mousasi said in his in-cage interview. “I never said that because I never believed it. But from now on, you better believe it.”
Gegard Mousasi sent a message to Conor McGregor 👀
“We’re not f*cking around with that guy… If he wants to come [at me], he can come. I’m not kidding.” pic.twitter.com/qTB5pI46JQ
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) February 26, 2022
Bellator 275 results:
Gegard Mousasi def. Austin Vanderford via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:25 – for middleweight title
Sinead Kavanagh def. Leah McCourt via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Ciaran Clarke def. Abou Tounkara via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
Khasan Magomedsharipov def. Jose Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Jornel Lugo def. Brian Moore via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Brett Johns def. Khurshed Kakhorov via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 3:00
Davy Gallon def. Charlie Leary via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:01
Stephanie Page def. Danni McCormack via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:46
Darragh Kelly def. Junior Morgan via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:47
Vladimir Tokov def. Daniele Scatizzi via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Gokhan Saricam def. Kirill Sidelnikov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nathan Kelly def. Scott Pedersen via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Lee Hammond def. Jamie Hay via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:32