Bellator Middleweight Champion Johnny Eblen is highly confident in his chances if a super fight with Alex Pereira ever came to fruition.
Eblen will defend his middleweight title in the Bellator 290 co-main event on February 4th. He’ll face Anatoly Tokov, who is on a seven-fight winning streak and holds a 31-3 overall record.
Eblen earned the belt by defeating Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 282. He’s won 12 straight to begin his professional MMA career after a run in collegiate wrestling.
Eblen has gone from a relative unknown to an MMA star in over a year. His work with some of American Top Team’s best, including Dustin Poirier and Jorge Masvidal, gives him a lot of confidence against the top middleweights.
So confident that Eblen feels he’d mop the floor with Pereira in a hypothetical Bellator/UFC super fight.
Johnny Eblen: I Would Overwhelm Alex Pereira
During an exclusive interview with MMA News, Eblen gave insight into how a fight with Pereira might play out.
“Me overwhelming him with my style, my pressure, my wrestling,” Eblen said. “I’d outwrestle him for sure. Probably submit him. He wouldn’t know how to get up. He wouldn’t be able to get away from me. Obviously, I’m not gonna try to strike with him completely. He’s a kickboxer, one of the best kickboxers in the world if not the best. I would definitely have to use my advantage in wrestling and I totally would, and I think that would lopside the fight in my favor.”
While Pereira is undoubtedly one of the top strikers in the world, he’s shown some holes in his ground game. Adesanya, who is a standup specialist, was able to engage him in the clinch and earn takedowns.
Eblen then named the two current UFC fighters who would give Pereira the most headaches.
“Yeah [Khamzat] Chimaev and [Robert] Whittaker, I think so,” Eblen answered.
Khamzat Chimaev and Robert Whittaker are arguably two of the best wrestlers in the UFC. Chimaev, in a win over Kevin Holland at UFC 279, showed off elite grappling by smothering Holland minutes into the fight.
Eblen, a former college wrestler at Missouri, feels he has the recipe to dismantle Pereira if they were ever to come face-to-face.
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