Gegard Mousasi is ready for one last title run before he hangs up his gloves. The veteran middleweight fighter, who has been in combat sports for 20 years and has held two Bellator titles, will face Fabian Edwards at Bellator 296 as part of a potential No 1 contender’s bout. A win would likely set him up for a rematch with reigning 185-pound champion Johnny Eblen, but it would also signal the end of his career.
Mousasi dropped the middleweight belt to Eblen earlier this year and admits that age is beginning to take its toll on him physically. He recently had surgery to address numbness in his hands due to carpal tunnel syndrome that was coming from his neck due to “wear and tear from all those years of fighting”. Despite needing regular treatment on his neck, Mousasi still feels determined enough to try and reclaim the title one more time before retirement – something he views as an invaluable opportunity given how fast age can catch up with fighters over time.
“After my fight, every time I would grip, my hand would fall asleep,” Mousasi said about the issue with numbness in his hand prior to getting surgery. “I had carpal tunnel syndrome or something like that, but I had an operation but it didn’t help. So even if I wanted to fight earlier, I couldn’t have done it.”
Mousasi continued: “They operated on my wrist but its actually coming from my neck…you get older you have to deal with more stuff.” He added that the training camp isn’t much different either; things are harder than ever before which makes it difficult for fighters who need their sleep during camps, just like any other athlete trying hard for success.
Still motivated by the chance of winning another championship belt however – despite looking slow in his last bout – Gegard remains focused on making sure he performs well against Edwards so people look forward excitedly towards a possible title fight afterwards; doing whatever needs be done between now and then, in order to regain what’s rightfully earned by him once again before calling quits after that one final point scored. Mousasi says he’s ready to take on the toughest opponent Bellator can throw at him, and in Fabian Edwards he has a formidable rival. The 26-year-old British fighter is undefeated since joining the promotion in 2018 and holds notable victories over Rafael Lovato Jr., Mike Shipman, Lee Chadwick, John Salter and Jonathan Bosuku.
He’s also aware that this could be his last fight if things don’t go as planned. “I’m older so I have to think about retirement or whatever,” Mousasi said. He added that although it would be difficult to walk away from the sport after having dedicated much of his life training for MMA championships, he is comfortable with his decision – knowing one final victory will make all those years of hard work worthwhile.