Bellator 262 winner Johnny Eblen wants fight vs. Charlie Ward in Ireland to be first on world tour

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – It didn’t take Johnny Eblen long to let the world know who he wanted next in the seconds that followed his unanimous decision win at Bellator 262.

Entering Friday’s event at Mohegan Sun Arena, Eblen expected Travis Davis would be a risky fight. As it played out, Eblen estimates he was correct. It was a competitive 15 minutes, but dominant in Eblen’s favor.

On the microphone in the cage after the win, Eblen (9-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) called out Conor McGregor teammate and former bodyguard Charlie Ward (9-4 MMA, 6-1 BMMA), who currently sits in the promotion’s middleweight rankings.

“I heard that we’re going overseas,” Eblen told MMA Junkie at a post-fight news conference. “I’d love to travel the world and fight people in their home countries. Charlie Ward is a big name. I feel like we might be going somewhere in his area. He’s a top-10 opponent. I think we’d make a really good fight for the fans out there.”

Ward has largely rolled over his competition since he was released from the UFC and joined Bellator in 2017. Five of his six Bellator wins have come inside the distance, and he’s currently riding a two-fight winning streak.

Eblen, 29, emphasized there’s no hard feelings behind his callout. Ward is just someone in his path to the title who Eblen thinks he can beat in a fight that makes sense for both competitors.

“There’s no bad blood,” Eblen said. “He’s just a guy I’ve seen before. He’s kind of a bigger name I’ve wanted to fight. I feel like I’ve earned a position to fight him. If anything, he should want to fight me because I’m pretty sure I’m ranked ahead of him. I haven’t fought a top-10 opponent. I think that’d be a top-10 opponent to fight.”

The Bellator 262 aired on Showtime after prelims on MMA Junkie. To see the full interview with Eblen, check out the video above.

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