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Johnny Eblen prepares for the toughest test of his career so far

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On June 24th, Johnny Eblen will be the next contender to try and crack the current Bellator Middleweight Champion, Gegard Mousasi, when Bellator 282 takes place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

In his short professional career so far, Eblen has gotten through 11 fights, relatively unscathed, but tests don’t come much tougher than “The Dreamcatcher”. Johnny Eblen only made his professional debut five years ago, whereas five years ago, Mousasi had already accumulated over 40 professional MMA wins. Regardless of Mousasi being a household name in MMA, Eblen explained how he’s ‘not a fan of his’ despite him being an MMA legend. “Not really a fan of his, but I knew who he was. Not at 12, but following MMA, I knew some fighters and he was a guy I came across, I’d seen a couple of fights.” Eblen said.

Despite Eblen having far less experience, that was also the case in his last bout with John Salter, someone he dominated in a 30-27 unanimous decision victory. Johnny Eblen possesses a wrestling heavy style, a style which allows him to dominate his opponents no matter the gulf in experience.

(Credit: Cagesidepress.com): Johnny Eblen reigns down viscous ground-and-pound against John Salter

The highly experienced and wise Mousasi is unfazed however by Eblen’s style, “On fight night, we’re gonna figure it out. He’s good basically everywhere, but nothing where he stands out. His ground-and-pound and submissions are good, but nothing I haven’t seen.”

The 36-year-old has fought two recognised wrestlers in his last two bouts, and has came out with two emphatic victories. Eblen believes that he is a different animal in comparison to Salter and Vanderford when it comes to his skillset on the feet. “I think I have the skillset to beat Mousasi. I’m not saying Austin (Vanderford) didn’t, not saying (John) Salter didn’t. I think I have the skills on the feet. I think I’m a different animal than Austin or Salter.”

(Credit: MMAjunkie.usatoday.com): Mousasi KO’s Vanderford at Bellator 275

With Gegard Mousasi being the two time Bellator middleweight king, with his current reign spanning over three years, there are always fresh contenders looking to be the one to dethrone him, which is something he is keeping an eye on. “Always. Fabian Edwards, (Anatoly) Tokov, Yoel Romero, Corey Anderson and (Vadim) Nemkov. There’s always another guy, another challenge. Every fight, I respect them and I take it seriously.”

Eblen on the flip side believes the current champion is in fact looking past him and thinks it could prove decisive. “Sure, he’s confident. Probably looking past me, but I don’t really care. I’m going to go in there and put it on him. I’m ‘Moose’ hunting.

“If I knock him out or submit him in the first, whatever, I’m game for it. I’m training for five rounds. If I get a finish I get a finish, if I don’t, I don’t.”

UK viewers can catch the action on BBC iPlayer from 11pm, with the main card scheduled for 2am.

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Magomed Umalatov & Denis Golstov OUT, Dilano Taylor & Juan Adams IN | PFL 8

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Magomed Umalatov & Denis Golstov have unfortunately been ruled out of their PFL semi-final playoff this weekend against Rory MacDonald & Matheus Scheffel as they were unable to secure a visa to enter the United Kingdom. The news was announced by PFL just moments ago.

Magomed Umalatov will now be replaced by welterweight alternate Dilano Taylor, whilst Golstov will now be replaced by former UFC heavyweight Juan Adams.

PFL 8 will take place at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena this Saturday, August 13th. You can find the updated fight card for the event below.

PFL 8 Full Card

Post Main Card European Qualifiers:

Will Fleury vs Anthony Salamone

Nathan Kelly vs Ben Ellis

Vojto Barborík vs Maxim Radu

Francesco Nuzzi vs Moktar Benkaci

Main card

Dilano Taylor vs Magomed Umalatov

Ante Delija vs Renan Ferreira

Juan Adams vs Matheus Scheffel

Sadibou Sy vs Carlos Leal

Preliminary Card

Josh O’Connor vs Emran Sakhizaada

Mohammad Fakhreddine vs Marcin Wójcik

Chris Mixan vs Christian Stigenberg

Szymon Bajor vs Hatef Moeil

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PFL Offers To Host Kayla Harrison vs Cris Cyborg

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After both women were featured on yesterday’s episode of the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Kayla Harrison and Cris Cyborg now have a serious offer on the table for their super fight. The founder and co-owner of the PFL Donn Davis tweeted saying that the PFL will host the fight and “handle all matters”. Offering up $1 million for each fighter’s purse and a $2 million winners bonus, the fight now has some serious money behind it.

Whilst on the MMA Hour, both women had something to say about the fight, Kayla Harrison actually called into the show when it was about to end to tell her side of the story. She said that the last she heard from the PFL was that Cyborg was a free agent and they had reached out. Harrison also said that she would be happy to negotiate on behalf of Cyborg to get her whatever she wants, whether the fight is winner takes all or not, whether Harrison has to go through a full USADA drug testing program etc. Her only request was that they allow elbows so she can “put one through her skull”.

Cyborg, on the other hand, said that if the PFL wants to make the fight happen, they should contact Scott Coker and Bellator to make the fight a co-promotion. Despite now being a free agent, Cyborg referred to the fact that she loves working with them and considers Coker to be family and would want them to be involved. Whilst co-promotion isn’t out of the question as it’s something Bellator have done before, it does make the deal more complicated.

Also on the MMA Hour, Cyborg announced that she will be making her professional debut in boxing on September 25th. She will face Simone Silva in Curitiba, Brazil and signed her contract live on air. Harrison’s next outing in the PFL comes in less than two weeks when she faces Martina Jindrová on the 20th August at PFL 9 in London as one half of the semi-finals.

Is this a super-fight you’d like to see made in the near future? Let us know your thoughts on the situation in the comments.

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Jesse Arnett vs Ali AlQaisi 2 | The Biggest Rematch in UAE Warriors History is Official!

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The biggest rematch in UAE Warriors history is confirmed as Jesse Arnett (20-8) is set to defend his UAE Warriors featherweight title against rival Ali AlQaisi (12-6) in the main event of ‘UAE Warriors 33’ on Saturday, September 17 live from the Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Arnett won the title from AlQaisi in an exciting and heated affair at ‘UAE Warriors 30’ this past July ending ‘The Royal Fighter’s’ triple championship reign. The bout was ended via doctor stoppage due to a cut sustained by AlQaisi in the second round. Emotions ran high and tempers flared in the aftermath, however officials quickly handled the situation and both fighters immediately agreed to a rematch.

Will Arnett retain and establish himself as the UAE Warriors featherweight champion or can AlQaisi regain his status as triple champion!? The score will officially be settled on September 17, live around the world on UFC Fight Pass.

If that wasn’t enough excitement, we will see the anticipated return of the Africa series as ‘UAE Warriors 32: Africa’ takes place the night prior on Friday, September 16.

History will be made as Kevin Oumar (8-3) and Emilio Quissua (3-0) compete become the first ever UAE Warriors Africa light heavyweight champion.

Hailing from Comoros, Oumar is based out of France where has become both a sanda and kickboxing champion. The 29-year-old is on a five-fight win-streak which includes an impressive submission win over the previously undefeated Mohamed Amine in his last fight in UAE Warriors this past March.

Oumar will once again need to be on top of his game as he faces Angola’s Emilio Quissua. A former kickboxer himself, Quissua trains out of the renowned Planet Eater gym in Germany and has won all three of his professional MMA bouts since making his debut just over a year ago.

Stay tuned for more fight announcements.

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