Nurmagomedov’s next opponent set – Bellator 296 highlights and results

Fabian Edwards overcame Gegard Mousasi in the Bellator 296 main event, while Brent Primus set himself up to face Umar Nurmagomedov in the LW GP.

By: Jack Wannan | 3 weeks ago
Nurmagomedov’s next opponent set – Bellator 296 highlights and results
Brent Primus is next for Umar Nurmagomedov. IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Fabian Edwards put himself next in line for a middleweight title shot on Friday night, sweeping scorecards against Gegard Mousasi in the main event of Bellator 296. Their bout headlined the promotion’s third trip to the Accor Arena in Paris, France.

Edwards used his sharp striking skills to get the edge against Mousasi in all five rounds of their fight. The bout also briefly went to the ground, where Edwards was also able to find success at times.

Edwards booked for title shot after Bellator 296 win

Mousasi went into this weekend ranked first in Bellator’s middleweight division, with Edwards one spot below him. The victory this weekend for Edwards confirmed that he will get a crack at champion Johnny Elben next

Eblen had a face-off with the successful Edwards on Friday night. It was also announced afterward that the duo will meet on September 23 in a title fight.

“I’m a much, much tougher opponent than Gegard. And you’re going to f****** see that,” said Eblen, who had his Bellator belt around his shoulder inside the cage.

Friday was the third consecutive win for Edwards in Bellator, and the first time he went five rounds in his entire professional MMA career.

Mousasi came into this week with the goal of earning a rematch against Eblen. They met last year, when Eblen went the distance to claim Bellator’s 185-pound title.

Underdog Primus hands Barnaoui first Bellator loss, earns title shot against Nurmagomedov

Bellator veteran Brent Primus scored an upset win against Mansour Barnaoui, going a total of five rounds to win on scorecards and advance in the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix.

Primus, listed as an underdog against the former Road FC Champion, mainly used his grappling to prevail in the 25-minute contest.

The first round of the fight was mostly on the feet. Primus rocked Barnaoui during some exchanges on the feet. Barnaoui was able to slow Primus’ momentum on the feet at one point by scoring a takedown.

Primus controlled most of the second round, getting Barnaoui to the ground and attempting submission attempts. This was just the start of what would later become a grappling-heavy performance for Primus.

Barnaoui got some momentum back in the third frame, marching down Primus with his striking. The fight went to the ground after Primus seemingly fell, allowing Barnaoui to let go of some ground and pound shots.

Like the second round, grappling from Primus took over a large part of the fourth round. The experienced talent looked for an arm triangle choke, hoping to close out the fight with the submission while in side and half control.

Going into the final round, former MMA referee and current Bellator analyst John McCarthy had the bout tied. Primus had his best grappling performance yet to close out the fight, getting Barnaoui down early and searching for a rear naked choke for most of the round.

Primus, who is coming up on his 10-year anniversary with Bellator, will now face Bellator Lightweight Champion Usman Nurmagomedov in the semi-finals of the promotion’s lightweight grand prix.

Lima picks up first win since 2019

Former Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima picked up his first win in years this Friday, going the distance in a slow-paced striking battle against Costello van Steenis to get the nod on scorecards.

Lima entered this weekend on a four-fight losing streak, with all losses coming against high-profile names in Bellator. His previous win was a victory over Rory MacDonald back in 2019.

Friday also marked Lima’s return to middleweight, after recently competing down at welterweight.

Gouti picks up finish win in front of home crowd

France’s own Thibault Gouti kicked off the main card with a big finish, flooring Kane Mousah in the second round with punches to pick up a finish win.

Gouti caught a backing-up Mousah with a clean right hook for a knockdown. He followed up with this shot on hammerfist punches as the referee stepped in to end the fight.

The lightweights were engaged in a back-and-forth striking battle prior to the finish. Mousah was gaining confidence in the contest, becoming the more aggressive fighter in the second round.

Gouti briefly also scored a knockdown in the opening round, connecting with a left hook after landing an uppercut.

The six-time UFC vet bounced back from his sole Bellator loss, which was a defeat against Alfie Davis in October.

Referee mistake forces early no contest result on prelims

What was originally ruled as a slick and fast submission win for Saul Rogers against Davy Gallon on the Bellator 296 prelims was overturned on Friday night to a no-contest due to a referee blunder.

Rogers went for a d’arce choke early in the fight after the fight went to the ground. The referee shook Gallon to see if he was conscious shortly after. Due to Gallon’s hands being locked and actively defending the submission, he wasn’t able to move to show he was still conscious. The referee decided to stop the fight at that moment but realized immediately after that Gallon was alert and defending the attempt from Rogers.

Bellator announced on social media shortly after that the bout was reversed into a no-contest. The original outcome was going to be Rogers’ 16th MMA win and Gallon’s ninth loss. Rogers called for a rematch against Gallon afterward.

The caveat of the unfortunate result was that it was made in an attempt to protect the fighters involved. MMA has unfortunately seen instances in the opposite, where a chokehold is applied much longer after a fighter loses consciousness.

Bellator 296 quick results

Main Card (4 p.m. ET) (Showtime)

  • Middleweight: Fabian Edwards def. Gegard Mousasi via unanimous decision
  • Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix Quarter-Final: Brent Primus def. Mansour Barnaoui via unanimous decision
  • Middleweight: Douglas Lima def. Costello van Steenis via unanimous decision
  • Lightweight: Thibault Gouti def. Kane Mousah via KO (right hook) at 3:58 in Rd 2

Preliminary Card (12 p.m. ET) (Youtube)

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Jack Wannan
Jack Wannan

Jack Wannan is a reporter for Bloody Elbow. He joined the site in 2023 after previously writing for and Knockdown News. He is currently in the process of earning a bachelor's degree in journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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