Bellator 296 predictions — Gegard Mousasi vs. Fabian Edwards: Fight card, odds, start time, live stream

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At 37 years old and with more than 60 fights between mixed martial arts and kickboxing, the clock is ticking toward the end of Gegard Mousasi’s fighting career. That makes Mousasi’s bout against Fabian Edwards at Bellator 296 on Friday all the more important for the veteran.

Mousasi is coming off just his second loss since 2016, dropping the middleweight title to Johnny Eblen at Bellator 282 in June 2022. Mousasi has gone 12-2 in that stretch, maintaining a position as one of the top 185-pound fighters in the world. 

The fight with Eblen was a bad one for Mousasi. He had occasional success in tagging Eblen on the feet but was repeatedly hurt in the stand-up while also being taken down many times. It was the first clear loss for the veteran since he was knocked out by Uriah Hall in 2015. The fight with Edwards is a chance to prove that one bad result is not indicative of the game passing Mousasi by.

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Edwards is the younger brother of UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards. While he enters the fight with only two consecutive wins, those two wins represent the biggest of Edwards’ career.

After winning the first nine fights of his professional career — most of those fights coming in the Bellator cage — Edwards suffered a split decision loss to Costello van Steenis followed by a unanimous decision loss to Austin Vanderford.

Having initially failed to successfully make a step up in competition, Edwards returned to action to face former UFC champion Lyoto Machida at Bellator 281. Edwards turned in a career-best performance against Machida, blasting the former champ with an elbow and follow-up punches to score a knockout victory.

Having followed up the Machida win with a decision over Charlie Ward, Edwards again finds himself in a position to possibly blast his way into title contention against a two-time Bellator champion.

The night’s co-main event features Mansour Barnaoui taking on former Bellator champion Brent Primus in the third quarterfinal bout of the Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix. Primus stepped into the tournament after Sydney Outlaw failed a drug test, leading to his removal from the bracket.

Barnaoui is riding an eight-fight winning streak, all those wins coming by stoppage. Primus has lost two of his three most recent fights and faces a tough task in one of the rising stars of Bellator’s lightweight division.

Bellator 296 fight card, odds

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

Gegard Mousasi -260

Fabian Edwards +210


Mansour Barnaoui -360

Brent Primus +280

Lightweight World Grand Prix

Costello Van Steenis -155 Douglas Lima +130 Middleweight

Thibault Gouti -130

Kane Mousah +110



Edwards’ win over Machida was impressive, but it becomes slightly less so when put into the context of it being the most recent in a four-fight losing skid for Machida. Edwards is a dangerous fighter, but Mousasi has been one of the most consistent and reliable fighters in the division for more than a decade.

Of course, Mousasi has a ton of miles on his body from such a long career. The loss to Eblen was a bad one and it’s hard to figure out how much of that was a result of Mousasi getting old and how much was that Eblen is very talented and a bad stylistic pairing for Mousasi.

Assuming Mousasi hasn’t reached the end of the road, it’s understandable why he’s a considerable favorite heading into the fight. An upset isn’t out of the question, but Mousasi’s well-rounded game should allow him to piece together a gameplan that allows him to win enough rounds to take a narrow win. Pick: Gegard Mousasi via UD

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