Eblen crushes Edwards with KO to retain Bellator middleweight title
Johnny Eblen's Bellator middleweight title reign is becoming awfully dominant.
Eblen retained his championship for the second time Saturday, knocking out Fabian Edwards at the 0:21 mark of the third round in the Bellator 299 main event in Dublin.
Eblen dropped Edwards with a right hand and crushed him with ground-and-pound - including a vicious elbow that shut out the lights - until the referee stepped in.
After the finish, Eblen needed to be held back after getting into a fiery exchange in the cage with Edwards' brother, UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards.
Eblen now owns the longest active winning streak in Bellator at 10 straight victories. The American Top Team product lifted his undefeated pro MMA record to 14-0.
The first two rounds between Eblen and Edwards were very competitive. The two middleweights traded punches and kicks on the feet. Edwards fended off Eblen's takedown attempts and even opened up a cut on the champion's eyebrow with an elbow. But then Eblen put an exclamation mark on the fight with his emphatic third-round knockout.
Eblen won Bellator middleweight gold in June 2022 with a dominant win over Gegard Mousasi. The 31-year-old defended the belt for the first time in February, defeating Anatoly Tokov by unanimous decision. This was Eblen's first finish since 2021.
Edwards earned a shot at the title by dominating Mousasi in the Bellator 296 main event in May. The Englishman was riding a three-fight winning streak, which also included a knockout of former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Edwards, 30, suffered his first loss since 2021 and the first stoppage loss of his career.
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