Bellator 296 was a success for the promotion as fans packed into the Accor Arena in Paris, France, where they witnessed a changing of the guard in the middleweight division.
Fabian Edwards earned the most significant win of his MMA career with a unanimous decision win over former middleweight champion and UFC vet Gegard Mousasi. He used his speed as an advantage and even managed to control Mousasi on the ground, adding a sense of urgency as he was clearly behind on the judges' scorecards.
With the win, Edwards will now challenge Johnny Eblen for the middleweight championship when the promotion returns to the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, on September 23. It remains to be seen whether 'The Dreamcatcher' will call time on his career, as he has hinted at retiring and lost the title eliminator that would have earned him a rematch with Eblen.
The ongoing Bellator lightweight Grand Prix continued in the co-main event, as former lightweight champion Brent Primus booked his place in the semi-final after earning a unanimous decision win over Mansour Barnaoui. It was a back-and-forth fight, and Primus will now look to carry that momentum into the semi-finals, where he will challenge Usman Nurmagomedov for the lightweight championship.
It was also a meaningful event for former welterweight champion Douglas Lima, who returned to 185lbs and snapped his 4-fight losing skid. He defeated Costello van Steenis via unanimous decision and appears to be committed to remaining at middleweight.
The Bellator 296 main card only featured one finish as Thibault Gouti kicked off the event by defeating Kane Mousah via second-round knockout.
When is Bellator's next event?
The promotion has a stacked event set for Bellator 297, which is scheduled to take place at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois, on June 16.
The event will be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight as Vadim Nemkov, who is coming off his Grand Prix win, defends his title against former UFC middleweight title challenger Yoel Romero.
In the co-main event, reigning featherweight champion Patricio 'Pitbull' Freire will look to make history and become a three-division champion as he challenges bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis.
Also set for the main card is a light heavyweight bout between No.1 ranked Corey Anderson and former light heavyweight champion Phil Davis.