Gegard Mousasi Believes Someone Like Tim Kennedy or Luke Rockhold Could be Next for Him

May 31, 2014
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Gegard MousasiGegard Mousasi is not the brash, outspoken fighter that many fans expect to see in today’s sports world where sometimes a gift for gab is nearly as important as an athlete’s gifts in his chosen sport.

But when Mousasi puts on the type of performance that he did against Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 41 on Saturday in Berlin, he doesn’t need to be brash. His skills in the Octagon are brash enough.

Having dominated Munoz, negating his world-class wrestling and submitting him less than four minutes into the fight, Mousasi has every right to scream from the mountain tops that he should leap up the middleweight ladder. In true Mousasi fashion, however, when he is asked where he fits in the division, he has a realistic take on where he’s at.

“I think around 7 to 5, maybe,” Mousasi responded when asked where he should be ranked as a UFC middleweight. And that’s probably a fair assessment, considering he lost to former champion Lyoto Machida in his last fight and there are fighters like Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Luke Rockhold, and Tim Kennedy already knocking on Chris Weidman’s door.

But it is those other fighters that are in the line ahead of him that Mousasi is now targeting. True to his nature, he targets them because they are steps to take towards a title shot, not for any personal reasons.

“I’m not interested in them at all, but I think (because) I get a win, I’m going to get a winner (as my next opponent). Kennedy or Rockhold, anyone who is coming off of a win who is maybe a contender,” he assessed when asked about his future. “So that is why I think I will get one of those guys, but I don’t know. I’m not challenging anyone.”

Given his druthers, Mousasi would make one callout, however. He would like to call out Japan. The UFC recently announced they are headed to Japan with Mark Hunt vs. Roy Nelson headlining in September, and Mousasi isn’t shy about admitting he’d love to return to the land where he once held the Dream middleweight championship.

“I would definitely love to fight in Japan. The Japanese crowd is well educated and I just like Japan,” said Mousasi. “They already have the headline, so, co-main event would be great for me.”

The UFC has yet to announce what their plans are for Mousasi, but considering his popularity in the Land of the Rising Sun, it wouldn’t be an outrageous idea to put him on that card opposite the likes of a Tim Kennedy or Luke Rockhold.

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  • Jon Doe

    Tim Kennedy, Souza rematch, loser of Vitor vs Chael. I hate unnecessary elimination of potential title fights. Luke is a former Champion and is a legitimate threat to the title, Tim is not but is a very good top 10 contender. 2 top 10 wins is a valid argument for a title shot

    • some dude

      All those dudes are legitimate threats. I don’t think Silva would have held on to the title as long as he did with the talent that currently resides in the middle weight division. That is no disrespect to AS.

  • some dude

    Gegard Mousasi vs Anderson Silva, take a second and think about it.

    • julian moran

      Let the monsters, Machida, Vitor, Silva, Weidman, Mousasi, take out the rest before fighting each other. If they fight each other it should be for the title or a title shot.

  • shakejunt

    i like him vs kennedy, both guys who impressed against long-time ranked guys. winner is set up for a #1 contenders match. that leaves rockhold-jacare rematch. winner is next behind vitor?

    • julian moran

      Kennedy will just try to hold Mousasi down.

      • shakejunt

        of course he will, that’s his game. but if gegard can’t avoid it, then he doesn’t deserve the shot anyway.

        • julian moran

          That’s not how it works. Every fighter matches up differently to every other. Mousasi would beat Rockhold and plenty of other fighters who could (and did) beat Kennedy. The overall best fighter is the one who should get the title shot.
          The most performant/outspoken one is the one who usually does.

      • Alex’sMom

        Doubt he can.

        King Mo was a different story. And Mousasi did way more damage to King Mo than the other way around.

    • Seth

      Munoz may be “long time ranked” but I doubt he was ever legit top 5 fighter or something…he’s good, but not THAT good

      • shakejunt

        same thing with bisping, that’s why the match makes sense to me

      • Maddawgmar

        I’d go as far as to say he wasn’t a legit top 10 fighter. His biggest wins was over an undersized Maia, and an overrated Boetch.

        • Seth

          Agree. People were waaaaaaaaay to high on him for waaaaaaaaay to long.

        • Alex’sMom

          That doesn’t mean that a dominant performance over Munoz doesn’t mean anything.

          If you can dominate Munoz the way Mousasi, Machida or Weidman did, then you are a legitimate top 10.

  • julian moran

    I want to see Mousasi take out Rockhold. Mousasi is very under rated. He did lose to Machida, but Machida in my opinion is the best in the division.

    • Mike mckinney

      It’s funny you say that. I usually call mousasi one of the most overrated guys in mma.
      I can understand those who may not think he’s overrated, but I can’t comprehend how anyone could say he’s underrated. Before silva lost the title you had tons of people saying he would beat silva. Everyone acts like he’s a monster, but he’s just not impressive. And most of that was against strikeforce competition.

      • Wolf Ticket

        I don’t think people were even thinking about him fighting Silva as by that time Mousasi was a light-heavyweight. You are probably confusing him for someone else.

        • Mike mckinney

          People were talking about it as soon as strikeforce was brought in. It’s the same group who thought Nick Diaz was the best in the world. All those who could only see fights on free tv and wanted those fighters they were watching to be the best.

      • Stefano ‘Zwonimir’ Sega Nogaro

        Overrated?
        Nobody know him in USA and he overwelmed Munoz that prior to his loss to Weidman was ranked #3 MW in the world.

        I think Mousasi is correctly rated, a top dog @ MW/LHW but not a guy u put millions of $ on winning the belt

        • Alex’sMom

          exactly.

          There is a split of opinion on this guy.

          The PRIDE nuthuggers still cling on to circa 2009 when Mousasi was considered a top 3 LHW, along with Machida of the Machida era and Shogun.

          The TUF Noobs have a tendency to diss everything that is not the UFC. “Hey! Never saw him in the Octagon against the likes of Costa Phillipoopoo and Tim Boetch…he must SUCK!”

          The knowledgeable MMA fans know exactly where he stands. Mousasi is a tough guy that must still be tested against the cream of the crop of the UFC.

      • julian moran

        Silva and Machida are the only two in the division I would favor in beating Mousasi. With Belfort having a 50/50 chance. Maybe Kennedy can hold him down for 3 rounds?

        • Alex’sMom

          Belfort would get killed by Mousasi.

          Machida and Silva, I agree.

          Damn!!! The 185lbs division is ALIVE!!! FINALLY!!!

      • Alex’sMom

        He is underrated because TUF noobs that never watched Pride don’t know him.

        He is overrated because he is still riding on that ridiculous pre-KingMo hype that surrounded him when he was Fedor’s boy.

  • dana white ufc

    Rock hold would be good. Kennedy will try to hold him down with zero sub attempts and zero GNP. Kennedy is ultra boring.

  • Maddawgmar

    Mousassi v Jacare. Both are overrated let the winner move forward.

    • Hansa

      Well its Joe Rogan who oversells and overrates every fighter, match and PPV….

    • Lucas Freire

      Why they are overrated?
      They are proving themselves to be solid title contention material at the MW division

      • Maddawgmar

        Jacare has beat nothing but non rated fighters. Marunde Brunson, Herman, Camozzi, and that put him as the number 3 or 4 in the world. My ass. Then he beat Okami, okay better he was number 7 at the time, the beat an overrated Carmont.

        And the only top ranked person that Mousasi beat was Munoz, who was never really a consensus top ten. To be fair to Mousasi, he holds a KO victory over Jacare way back when they were both relative unknowns.

        • Lucas Freire

          I don’t think that makes them overrated. In Jacare’s case for example, he got the spot simply because while he was winning everybody else was losing.

          Strange would it be if Munoz went 1-3 on his last 4 fights and were still ahead of Jacare. The same applies to Tim Boestch, he’s also 1-3, why would he be on the top5?

          The MW division is going through a restart, so they have to give priority to the guys who are on a streak.
          The division will sort itself out and destroy the hypewagon of whoever is overrated later this year when we get the first title shot, the next title contender, a more solid top5…it’s expected for it to be a mess right now.

          In my opinion the division will sort out itself this way: Jacare,Rockhold and Mousasi will be the #4-#6 of the division. They’ll be the guys who may get a title shot as soon as the top4 guys(Weidman,Lyoto,Belfort,Silva) fight themselves and start to lose.

          • Maddawgmar

            I understand that, but losing to top guys while someone is beating low ranked guys shouldn’t make then lower. Ill example Rockhold. Rockhold is 7-1 in his last 8 fights, as is Jacare. The difference is Rockholds lone loss was to the number 2 guy at MW (Vitor). Jacare’s lone loss was to Rockhold, (which Rockhold dominated that fight) who was unranked at the time of the fight. How is Jacare ranked above Rockhold? Or why is Kennedy ranked above Rockhold for that matter, the same scenario. I think as it plays out it will be (Rockhold, Mousasi, Jacare, and Kennedy.). That is what I mean overrated. He is above guys that should be ranked above him.

          • Alex’sMom

            No one cares about the precise order of the fighters between 4 and 10.

            Jacare and Mousasi, along with other fighters you’ve mentioned are all top 10 material.

            I am gonna say it here. Luke Rockhold and Tim Kennedy will lose to Gegard Mousasi.

            The 185lbs division is definitely coming back alive!

    • soah

      that fight happened in Dream and Mousassi won via and upkick KO

      • Maddawgmar

        I know I said that in a comment lower down, but that was a long time ago, neither are the same fighter. Plus there are things called rematches.

  • Seth

    Actually…Tim Kennedy would be pretty good fight for him – deffy would like to see it.

  • Hansa

    If Mousasi continues and beats Kennedy next, then I think Mousasi will fight Anderson Silva in his come-back match…that will be very entertaining.