Bellator 264: Gegard Mousasi vs. John Salter preview and prediction

Preview and prediction for Gegard Mousasi vs. John Salter at Bellator 264.

The first title defense in the second Bellator middleweight title reign of Gegard Mousasi will take place in the main event of Bellator 264, as he takes on John Salter.

Mousasi reclaimed the championship with a one-sided decision win over then-welterweight champion Douglas Lima at Bellator 250 in October.

His first reign began at Bellator 200 in May 2018, just over a year after Mousasi jumped from the UFC to Bellator, with a finish of Rafael Carvalho. Mousasi defended the title against Rory MacDonald before losing it in an upset majority decision to Rafael Lovato Jr. in June 2019.

Salter made his Bellator debut at Bellator 132 in January 2015, with his only loss in Bellator coming to Lovato. Salter’s wins in Bellator have come against the likes of Dustin Jacoby, Brandon Halsey, Kendall Grove and Chidi Njokuani.

Salter enters this title fight on a three-fight win streak and with 10 wins in his last 11 bouts, most recently submitting Andrew Kapel at Bellator 244 last year. His win against Costello van Steenis at Bellator 233 in November 2019 was the only time in this span that Salter didn’t score a finish.

Who will win at Bellator 264: Gegard Mousasi or John Salter?

Mousasi will come into this bout with about an inch edge in height and two inches in reach on Salter.

For as many more pro fights Mousasi has over Salter, you can’t really factor in age as a concern here, as both men are 36.

The experience edge clearly goes in Mousasi’s favor. Even if Salter has competed against the only man to have beaten Mousasi in Bellator, Lovato, Mousasi’s world experience in combat sports has seen him take on some of the greatest names MMA and kickboxing have had to offer.

Mousasi is arguably one of the best strikers toward the top of Bellator’s pound-and-pound rankings, with his boxing and kickboxing leading him to much success.

And while he hasn’t earned a submission victory since 2014, Mousasi is experienced in judo as well, which could come into play if Salter, a 2017 ADCC submission wrestling champion, attempts to either lock Mousasi up and nullify his striking, or he takes this to the ground and out-control Mousasi.

Lovato and his grappling prowess were able to cancel out much of Mousasi’s striking. But Mousasi has perhaps learned from that fight. Salter, meanwhile, with his lack of facing star power, may end up getting overworked and overwhelmed in this contest.

Prediction: Mousasi via unanimous decision

Bellator 264 takes place on Aug. 13, 2021, live from the Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.

Published at Mon, 09 Aug 2021 00:20:57 +0000

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