Bellator 264: Gegard Mousasi Vs. John Salter Preview, Betting odds, Pick For Middleweight Title Bout

Mixed-martial arts veteran Gegard Mousasi begins his title defense for the Bellator MMA middleweight championship belt on Friday night in Connecticut when he takes on John Salter at Bellator 264.

Mousasi, who will be fighting in his 57th career MMA bout, won the vacant middleweight championship title at Bellator 250 last October against Douglas Lima via unanimous decision and now he’s looking to build on his impressive career resume.

This is Mousasi’s second stint as Bellator champion. He won the belt for the first time at Bellator 200 against Rafael Carvalho. He defended his title once against Rory MacDonald before losing it to Rafael Lovato Jr. via majority decision at Bellator 223. Since then, he worked his back to title contention and became the first-ever two-time Bellator champion.

Mousasi enters the fight as a huge favorite (-435 on DraftKings sportsbook) against Salter (+330 on DraftKings sportsbook), who is 8-1 in his Bellator career. Salter has 10 wins by submission in his career, so Mousasi feels he needs to keep the fight off the mat in order to be successful.

“This guy, he needs the takedowns to win the fight,” Mousasi told reporters on Wednesday. “I’m not going to lay down and just fight from my back. My plan is to get right back up and if it needs to be technically a stand-up fight, I don’t think he can hang with me there.”

Our Prediction: Mousasi via knockout.

Both of these guys are 36 years old, but Mousasi has nearly three times as many fights under his belt. Mousasi has fought and defeated 11 fighters who have won major MMA titles. He is also more well-rounded than Salter.

Mousasi and Salter are expected to make the walk to the cage at around 11:00 PM ET. Catch the fight on Showtime.

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