Gegard Mousasi will cannonball into the deep end of Bellator MMA’s middleweight pool in a matter of days.
Mousasi makes his organizational debut against Alexander Shlemenko in the Bellator 185 main event this Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, where a victory would likely set the stage for “The Dreamcatcher” to challenge for the promotion’s middleweight championship sometime in 2018. The 32-year-old signed with Bellator on July 10 following a successful 12-bout stay in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Mousasi last competed at UFC 210 in April, when he cut down Chris Weidman with a volley of second-round knee strikes in Buffalo, New York. He has delivered 35 of his 42 professional victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
As Mousasi prepares to meet Shlemenko, here are some of the numbers that have come to define him.
3: Weight classes in which Mousasi has competed as a pro. He has fought as a middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight, posting wins in all three divisions.
4: Titles won. During his stellar career, Mousasi has captured the Strikeforce light heavyweight crown, the Dream middleweight crown, the Dream light heavyweight crown and the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship middleweight crown.
5: Consecutive victories. Mousasi will enter his Bellator debut on a five-fight winning streak that has seen him defeat Weidman, Uriah Hall, Vitor Belfort, Thiago Santos and Thales Leites.
6: Wins over former UFC, Strikeforce or Bellator champions. Mousasi has beaten Weidman, Belfort, Dan Henderson, Renato Sobral, Ronaldo Souza and Hector Lombard.
11: Submission wins to his credit. Mousasi has utilized various methods: six rear-naked chokes, two triangle chokes, a guillotine choke, a straight armbar and an armbar. His list of victims includes Mark Munoz, Mark Hunt, Melvin Manhoef and Denis Kang.
12: Countries in which Mousasi has competed as a professional mixed martial artist. They are the United States, Ireland, England, Japan, the Philippines, Sweden, Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Canada, Russia and Finland.
30: First-round finishes on his resume, four of them of the sub-minute variety. Mousasi has stopped opponents in 10, 31, 35 and 40 seconds.
42: Career wins. Broken them down by promotion, Mousasi has recorded nine victories in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, eight in Dream, four in Strikeforce, three in M-1 Global, two in 2 Hot 2 Handle, two in the International Mix-Fight Association, two in Deep, two in Pride Fighting Championships, two in Hardcore Championship Fighting, one in K-1, one in Cage Warriors Fighting Championship, one in Fight Festival, one in Rings, one in Jaap Edenhal, one in Bushido Europe, one in Future Battle and one in Bodog Fight.
143: Victories between the six men -- Hall, Souza, Lyoto Machida, Muhammed Lawal, Akihiro Gono and Petras Markevicius -- who have defeated Mousasi. They have a .704 cumulative winning percentage.
487: Total strikes by which Mousasi outlanded his 12 opponents in the UFC, per FightMetric. In his 12 appearances inside the Octagon, he connected with 705 total strikes; his opponents landed just 218.