BELLATOR MMA today announced its third visit to Paris, France, with a momentous middleweight main event between former BELLATOR Middleweight Champion Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi (49-8-2) and No. 2-ranked Fabian “The Assassin” Edwards (11-2) slated for Friday, May 12. BELLATOR Paris: Mousasi vs. Edwards will take place at the Accor Arena and will be televised live in America on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. CEST/4 p.m. ET.
In the co-main event, No. 5-ranked Sidney “Da Gun” Outlaw (16-5) steps into enemy territory against Paris-based standout Mansour “Afro-Samurai” Barnaoui (20-4) in an opening round, quarterfinal matchup of the million-dollar BELLATOR Lightweight World Grand Prix.
Preliminary card action has begun to take shape with a pair of lightweight bouts featuring Manchester, England’s Saul Rogers (15-5) and Kane Mousah (14-4) taking on Frenchmen Davy Gallon (21-8-2) and Thibault Gouti (16-6) respectively. The prelims will stream live on the BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel, SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel, and Pluto TV beginning at 6 p.m. CEST/12 p.m. ET.
Gegard Mousasi is one of mixed martial arts’ most decorated active competitors. The former BELLATOR, Strikeforce, DREAM, and Cage Warriors champion will be eager to return to the win column on May 12 after dropping his title to Johnny Eblen at BELLATOR 282 in June. Under the BELLATOR banner, Mousasi has amassed two middleweight title reigns, three title defenses, and a stellar 9-2 promotional record replete with four knockouts. Mousasi, now the No. 1-ranked middleweight contender in BELLATOR, squares off with a surging Fabian Edwards in Paris for what promises to be one of the most consequential middleweight fights of 2023 at the AccorHotels Arena.
Buoyed by the world title victory of his brother, Leon Edwards, Fabian Edwards believes that 2023 is the year that he will see BELLATOR gold wrapped around his waist. A win over a living legend in Gegard Mousasi would place “The Assassin” firmly in control of that destiny; Edwards has won back-to-back fights over Charlie Ward and former world champion Lyoto Machida, whom he finished viciously with strikes in the first round of their May 2022 matchup. The 29-year-old standout hopes he can add Mousasi’s name to his burgeoning résumé as he headlines BELLATOR’s third trip to Paris this May with title contention beckoning.
Fighting out of American Top Team in South Florida, the 30-year-old Sidney Outlaw’s rise to the upper echelon of BELLATOR’s premier lightweight division from personal struggle is as inspiring a path to the Lightweight World Grand Prix as anyone’s. With three wins in his last five fights, including notable victories over Roger Huerta, Adam Piccolotti, and Myles Jury, Outlaw will look to work his way back to a title shot through this tournament and the road to BELLATOR gold begins on May 12 opposite Barnaoui.
Paris’ Mansour Barnaoui was one of BELLATOR’s biggest signings in 2022, and for good reason. The Tunisian-born Frenchman formerly won titles in ROAD FC, M-1 Challenge, and BAMMA, and he demonstrated his world-class abilities in his BELLATOR debut in October with a second-round rear-naked choke of veteran Adam Piccolotti at BELLATOR 287 in Milan. Barnaoui will bring his outstanding 95% stoppage rate and an eight-fight winning streak into this matchup with Sidney Outlaw as part of the Lightweight World Grand Prix’s opening round, and he will hope to continue his finishing ways in what would be a stark warning to the rest of the tournament field.
BELLATOR PARIS: MOUSASI VS. EDWARDS MAIN CARD:
May 12 — 10 p.m. CEST/9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT
Middleweight Main Event: #1-Gegard Mousasi (49-8-2) vs. #2-Fabian Edwards (11-2)
Lightweight World Grand Prix Co-Main Event: 5-Sidney Outlaw (16-5) vs. Mansour Barnaoui (20-4)
BELLATOR PARIS: MOUSASI VS. EDWARDS PRELIMINARY CARD:
6 p.m. CEST/5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT
Lightweight Bout: Saul Rogers (15-5) vs. Davy Gallon (21-8-2)
Lightweight Bout: Thibault Gouti (16-6) vs. Kane Mousah (14-4)