UFC News: Gegard Mousasi accuses the top 5 in UFC Middleweight division of ducking him
What’s the story?
Gegard Mousasi is a man on a mission. The former Strikeforce champion and current UFC Middleweight title hopeful sounded off on the entire UFC Middleweight division. Mousasi feels that he is, currently, the most ducked fighter in the UFC. And he has facts to back up his statement.
Mousasi was scheduled to fight Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden at 205 pounds, but Gustafson claimed to be injured and pulled out. Besides that fight, Mousasi offered to fight Daniel Cormier at 205 pounds on the UFC 200 main card, however, Cormier chose to fight Anderson Silva, instead.
Mousasi, then, offered to serve as a late replacement opponent, once again at 205 pounds against Anthony Johnson, but ‘Rumble’ declined the offer.
At 185 pounds, Mousasi goes on to claim that notable fighters like Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold are actively avoiding a fight with him. Apart from the two aforementioned former UFC MW champs, Mousasi also claims that other top MW fighters such as Robert Whittaker, Derek Brunson and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) legend and former MW champion Anderson Silva, also are ducking him.
Mousasi claims to be the best fighter and promises to win the MW world title. Here’s what he said to Fox Sports (courtesy: ENTImports):
“I wanted to fight Anderson (Silva) and the UFC said ‘well you don’t have a big enough name’ but now he’s fighting Derek Brunson. Luke Rockhold is injured but I see him training all the time. Chris Weidman doesn’t pick up his phone. The UFC offered him that fight a couple of times. (Robert) Whittaker wants to go on holiday for seven months. I don’t know what he’s up to. I’m looking for a fight. [Weidman] says he was offered a couple of fights? Who? Everyone is booked or injured.”
In case you didn’t know...
Gegard ‘Dreamcatcher’ Mousasi (41-6-2) is a former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion and one of the best striking technicians to ever grace an MMA cage. His kickboxing skills are world class, as are his grappling skills.
He has multiple victories by submission. He has also laid waste to a vast majority of his opponents by way of Knockout/Technical Knockout (KO/TKO). He is a highly respected combat sports veteran with victories in amateur boxing, kickboxing and, obviously, professional MMA.
The Middleweight division in the UFC has always been graced by a multitude of dynamic strikers. Whether it’s Anderson Silva’s reign of sheer dominance till 2013, or Luke Rockhold’s dynamic array of head kicks; the MW division is filled with lethal knockout artists.
From a purely technical point of view, though, Gegard Mousasi is the most superior striking tactician in the UFC MW division.
The heart of the matter
Now, since MMA seems to be in the era of constant self-promotion and money fights, even introverted fighters like Mousasi have begun taking promotional matters into their own hands. Mousasi, as of late, has made it a point to clearly state his intentions; that is, fighting the top 5 ranked fighters in the division.
Mousasi claims that Weidman isn’t answering his phone calls or offers from the UFC to fight him. Furthermore, Mousasi even claims that although Rockhold says he is injured, he is routinely seen posting gym training sessions on social media.
However, when it comes to fighting him, Rockhold refuses, ‘feigning’ injury. Mousasi also criticised Robert Whittaker for being choosy about his fights and refusing a fight with him. Now, as if this wasn’t enough, Mousasi also goes on to claim that Anderson Silva only picks easy fights and will, in no way, accept a fight with ‘Dreamcatcher’.
Mousasi also criticised Silva’s next opponent Derek Brunson’s striking, labelling Brunson’s stand-up game as ‘amateurish’.
“Derek Brunson’s stand up is horrible, I’m sorry. The guy is a good fighter but his stand up is just terrible. He’s an amateur fighter stand up wise. It was just a bar fight in his last fight.”
As of now, Mousasi can continue looking for a fight in the top 5 of the UFC MW division, although, it may be tough to find one. Luke Rockhold is still nursing an ACL tear, Chris Weidman is coming off a brutal knockout loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 205, Jacare Souza is scheduled to fight Tim Boetsch and Whittaker doesn’t seem to be interested in a fight before May 2017.
As far as the UFC Middleweight title is concerned, current champion Michael Bisping looks to be all set to face ‘The Soldier of God’ Yoel Romero. Mousasi can look for fights outside the top 5, however, at this stage in his career, such a move seems unnecessary.
Gegard Mousasi is fairly young at just 31 years of age, however, he has been in several professional fights, not to mention, the Dutch kickboxing style hard sparring sessions in the gym. He is, currently, within sniffing distance of a UFC MW title shot.
Right now, the smart business decision would be to stay put; keep training and see how the top rung of the division shapes up.
Besides, considering the fact that Bisping is, apparently, set to put his MW title on the line against the unpredictable, Yoel Romero, all bets are off. On examining this situation, irrespective of the business aspect, purely on a merit basis, Mousasi could easily leapfrog a number one contender fight and get the winner of Bisping vs. Romero.
After everything Mousasi has done for the sport of MMA, from Pride FC to DREAM; and from Strikeforce to the UFC; he absolutely deserves to fight for a UFC world title. Whether the UFC gives him that opportunity remains to be seen.
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