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Gegard Mousasi can once again call himself a world champion after he outpointed Douglas Lima to win Bellator’s vacant middleweight crown at Thursday night’s event at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. 

Mousasi was awarded the nod on the judges’ scorecards (48-47, 49-46 x2) to once again win the organisation’s 185-pound title he lost to Rafael Lovato Jr. before the Brazilian grappling world champion was forced to relinquish the title and retire from the sport after being diagnosed with a rare brain disorder.

It was a largely turgid affair, with neither fighter taking many opportunities to up the tempo throughout the five-round fight. Lima’s leg kicks, the same technique he used to great effect against Rory MacDonald, was employed early but Mousasi regularly incited grappling exchanges if and when Lima began to find a home for his kicks.

However, neither fighter really got into fifth gear throughout the fight and Lima’s (mostly) single strikes weren’t seen by the judges as being as effective as Mousasi’s more consistent approach and he was confirmed as the winner moments after the final bell.

Elsewhere on the card, Henry Morales defeated Brandon Girtz by decision, while featherweight Dalton Rosta beat Ty Gwerder by the same method.

Current professional wreslter Jake Hager also made his fourth Bellator appearance and remains unbeaten after taking home a close decision win against Brandon Colton.