As expected, Gegard Mousasi is a Bellator MMA champion. It did not take him long to do it.
Mousasi (44-6-2) made quick work of Rafael Carvalho in their middleweight title fight at Bellator 200 on Friday, finishing off the three-time defending champion via TKO just 3:35 into the first round. The event took place at SSE Arena in London.
Anything short of a middleweight title would have been viewed as a failure for Mousasi, who signed with Bellator as a free agent in 2017. He left the UFC on an impressive five-fight win streak.
"It feels good, I worked hard for this," Mousasi said. "I thinking it could go five rounds, but I've fought with heavy guys. Once I'm in top position, I'm good."
Mousasi, of the Netherlands, took Carvalho (15-2) down in the opening minute and attempted to work to his back. The Brazilian managed to get back to his feet at one point but ultimately lost the positional battle.
After dragging Carvalho back down, Mousasi moved into full mount. He worked his ground-and-pound from there, which eventually forced Carvalho to give up his back. The bout was stopped after Mousasi flattened Carvalho out and landed a series of elbows and punches to the side of his head.
Immediately after the fight, Bellator's welterweight champion, Rory MacDonald, another former UFC standout, called for a champion-versus-champion bout on social media.
@mousasi_mma congratulations on you dominant victory, @ScottCoker @rich_chou i know you wanted a title defense from me before challenging at middle weight. but myself vs @mousasi_mma is the fight to make right now, so lets make this happen!?— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) May 25, 2018
For his part, Mousasi seemed more than interested.
"I think everyone wants to see Rory MacDonald," Mousasi said. "Hopefully he doesn't chicken out and we have a fight."
Page dominates Rickels
Page, 31, forced Rickels to wave off the bout just 42 seconds into the second round. Rickels stopped fighting after he walked into a stiff counter right hand by Page. The punch opened a cut over Rickels' left eye, and he motioned to the referee to stop the fight.
Page has been one of the most intriguing prospects in MMA for years, but Bellator has chosen to bring him along slowly. He is now 9-0 under the Bellator banner, with seven finishes.
Friday was arguably his toughest test to date, but he made it look easy. He repeatedly caught Rickels with counter right hands, and he nearly floored him with an early spinning wheel kick. After connecting with a jab-right hand combo late in the first round, Page began salsa dancing in the middle of the fight.
The win may finally set up a long-awaited matchup between Page and Paul Daley, another striker out of England.
Davis crushes Vassell with head kick
A former NCAA collegiate wrestling champion, Davis has recorded only four knockouts in his 10-year MMA career -- but he looked like a KO artist on Friday. He caught Vassell (18-7) with a right foot directly to the chin, which quickly ended the fight.
"If that don't give you the heebie-jeebies, if that don't keep you up at night, I don't know what does," Davis said.
Davis, 33, looked comfortable throughout the 205-pound bout. He hurt Vassell with knees to the body in the first round, and he scored a takedown in the second. Vassell, who is from England, nearly took Davis' back in a scramble but was mostly neutralized offensively.
Davis is now 2-0 since losing his belt to Ryan Bader via split decision one year ago.
Reality star Chalmers stays undefeated
Aaron "The Joker" Chalmers (4-0) continues to have the last laugh when it comes to his critics.
A cast member of the popular British reality show "Geordie Shore," Chalmers submitted Ash Griffiths (4-5) via guillotine choke at 1:55 of the opening round. The 163-pound catchweight bout served as Chalmers' Bellator debut.
Written off by some as a gimmick, Chalmers, 30, has finished all four of his pro fights inside the first round. He dropped Griffiths with a left hook, right hand in the pocket, then secured a guillotine finish from the standing position.
"You know what it is," Chalmers said. "If you don't like it, then f--- ya. Simple as that. I've got the best team around me in England. That's why I just put him away in the first round."