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Bellator champ Gegard Mousasi wants Rafael Lovato Jr. next after Rory MacDonald 'didn't do much'



SAN JOSE, Calif. – Gegard Mousasi is wasting no time moving on to his next opponent following a successful defense of his middleweight title on Saturday at Bellator 206.

Mousasi (45-6-2 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) defended his 185-pound belt for the first time when he scored a second-round TKO victory over Rory MacDonald (20-5 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) in the Bellator 206 headliner, which took place at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., and streamed on DAZN. “The Dreamcatcher” took no significant damage in the bout, and he’s already thinking about his next opponent.

The fight Mousasi desires most is a rematch with Lyoto Machida (24-8 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), but with the former UFC champ booked to fight Rafael Carvalho (15-2 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) in December, Mousasi wants to get another fight in beforehand. He made it clear he wants his second title defense to come against unbeaten contender Rafael Lovato Jr. (9-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA).

Lovato Jr. is coming off a big win of his own in the middleweight division. He submitted John Salter in the third round at Bellator 205 earlier this month to stay unbeaten in his career. The jiu-jitsu specialist said he hoped to get the title shot next and said he felt capturing the belt is “inevitable.”

“I’m putting everything into this, and I feel like I’m in a very special phase of my life right now,” Lovato Jr. told MMAjunkie after Bellator 205. “I would love this opportunity and this challenge to fulfill my martial arts destiny and become a world champion.”

Mousasi, 33, said prior to Bellator 206 that retirement is on his mind and, depending on how much damage he accumulates, he could walk away from the sport after completing the final three fights on his Bellator contract.

The near-flawless performance against MacDonald is what Mousasi is looking for if he were to extend his career. Although he felt confident he would decisively win the champion-vs.-champion fight, he said he expected more out of MacDonald inside the cage at Bellator 206.

“I knew I was faster,” Mousasi said. “The gameplan was to throw straight punches, no hooks, and hurt him and make him come and maybe put pressure on him to shoot and take over. Actually, the fight went pretty much the way we planned. It surprised me he didn’t do much. I was the more active fighter. He was the lighter fighter, I thought he would do more.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 206, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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