Last October, in the main event of Shamrock FC 310, undefeated Johnny Eblen hardly broke a sweat. But he did break his opponent’s spirit, forcing Tyler Lee to trap to strikes under three minutes into the opening round.
The early finish (technically a submission due to strikes) was more than enough to get an offer from Bellator MMA.
On Tuesday, Bellator signed Eblen to a multi-fight deal, making the Missouri-born middleweight the latest Shamrock FC veteran scooped up by the promotion.
Unscheduled at the moment, here is everything else you need to know about Eblen, Bellator’s newest addition.
Eblen has a fantastic wrestling base. Born and raised in Kansan City, MO, he began wrestling in the sixth grade, eventually earning a state championship before competing at the University of Missouri.
For the Mizzou Tigers, Eblen competed in three different weight classes. Though he spent the majority of his Division-1 career at 184 pounds, making his recent stint as a middleweight all the more natural.
Graduating college in 2015, Eblen remained close to the sport he loved. During his stint as a wrestling coach he met Steve Mocco, who invited him down to American Top Team’s home base in Coconut Creek, Florida. When not in Florida, he trains alongside surging UFC welterweight James Krauss at Glory MMA in Kansas City.
By the end of 2016, Eblen fought in his first amateur MMA bout. Less than a year later, Shamrock FC came calling his name.
Eblen, 27, is 4-0 in his professional fighting career, quickly becoming one of ATT’s brightest prospects. All four of his wins have been in the very first round. And three of which were submission to strikes, making him an intimidating force from top-position.
Like many wrestlers before him, his striking can be better but Eblen keeps his hands up and maintains a crouched position on the feet with his hands cocked and loaded. In his last outing, while pressing Lee to the cage, he paid special attention to abusing his man’s midsection before returning to his bread and butter—that punishing top game.