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Despite a bevy of changes to the card, Bellator action returns on Friday with Bellator 185, which takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., with a main card on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.
One of the more noteworthy debuts in company history is set for the headliner when former Strikeforce champion and longtime UFC middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) meets former Bellator 185-pound champion Alexander Shlemenko (56-9 MMA, 12-3 BMMA).
With 116 professional bouts between them, Mousasi and Shlemenko will set a new record for the most combined experience in a Bellator main event. For more on the numbers behind Friday’s Bellator 185 fight card, check out 20 pre-event facts.
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Mousasi makes his Bellator debut after a 12-fight UFC career in which he went 9-3.
Mousasi enters the event on a five-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since September 2015.
Mousasi has earned 35 of his 42 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 31 of those wins in Round 1.
Mousasi has earned his past four victories by knockout.
Mousasi’s eight victories since 2014 in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Sam Alvey for most in the division.
Mousasi absorbed just 1.42 significant strikes per minute in UFC middleweight competition, the third best rate in divisional history behind Chael Sonnen (1.12) and Ivan Salaverry (1.15).
Shlemenko competes in his 16th Bellator middleweight bout, the most appearances in divisional history.
Shlemenko enters the event on a seven-fight unbeaten streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since September 2014.
Shlemenko’s 12 victories in Bellator competition are tied for fourth most in company history behind Patricio Freire (14), Michael Chandler (13) and Joe Warren (13).
Shlemenko’s 12 victories in Bellator middleweight competition are most in divisional history.
Shlemenko has earned 40 of his 56 career victories by stoppage. He earned 25 of those wins in Round 1.
Shlemenko’s eight stoppage victories in Bellator middleweight competition are most in divisional history.
Shlemenko’s six knockout victories in Bellator middleweight competition are most in divisional history.
Neiman Gracie (6-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA), 28, is the youngest of the 10 scheduled main-card fighters.
Gracie is 3-0 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2015.
Gracie has earned three of his four Bellator victories by submission.
Heather Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), a pro boxing champion, returns to MMA after making a successful debut at Bellator 180 in June.
Ana Julaton (2-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), 37, is the oldest of the 10 scheduled main card fighters.
Julaton returns to MMA competition for the first time since Dec. 11, 2015. The 679-day layoff is the longest of her more than three-year career.
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