Gegard Mousasi Feels Fight with Alexander Gustafsson “Definitely For No. 1 Contender’s Spot”

January 20, 2013
31 Comments

Gegard Mousasi at StrikeforceThe moment Gegard Mousasi signed his contract with the UFC he wanted to make one thing crystal clear – he’s working towards a title shot and wants the biggest fights possible to get there.

The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion comes to the promotion with a lot of hype behind him as one of the top prospects at 205lbs, and he’s not shying away from facing the best of the best to prove he belongs there.

For his first fight in the UFC, Mousasi will face current top contender Alexander Gustafsson in his home country of Sweden in April, and this is exactly the kind of challenge he wanted.

“I wanted to face a top opponent. He’s the No. 1 contender so fighting him would get me in line for a title shot. That’s the guy I want to fight,” Mousasi told MMAWeekly.com on Sunday.

“It was him, (Lyoto) Machida or Shogun (Rua), and I mentioned them because I felt those were the names that fans would want to see, and they’re top contenders and obviously (Gustafsson) beat Shogun so he’s the number one, so I feel great fighting for this spot.”

The UFC hasn’t officially dubbed the fight as a No. 1 contender’s bout, but Mousasi knows that Gustafsson’s resume certainly reads like a fighter ready to compete for the belt. Add in Mousasi’s current win streak and he believes this has the makings of finding out who will next challenge champion Jon Jones in the Octagon.

“Gustafsson, he’s on a six fight winning streak, it’s hard to deny him a title shot. It’s definitely for number one contender’s spot, that’s the way I feel,” said Mousasi.

Mousasi also knows the fans have a voice with UFC President Dana White, and when they talk he listens. As he prepares for his showdown with Gustafsson in April, Mousasi does so with the knowledge that a flawless performance beating the Swede could be just the momentum he needs to have everyone screaming for a title shot in his second fight in the UFC.

“If I go there and I perform well it’s much easier to get the fans all behind me. It’s all about performance, and I believe once that’s happened and then we can go to the next step,” Mousasi stated.

2013 already kicked off on the right foot for Mousasi when he submitted Mike Kyle in the final Strikeforce show ever, and now he wants to build on that when he debuts in the UFC. Mousasi is a goal-oriented person so the first mission is to beat Alexander Gustafsson in April.

Mission 2.0 will be to wrap the UFC light heavyweight title around his waist by year’s end.

“I’m concentrating 100-percent and from that hopefully I will have that belt around my waist. That’s a big motivation, it’s within reach and it’s a possibility. That’s already giving me a lot of hope and that’s what I’m going for this year. We had a good start but now we are going for the big deal,” said Mousasi.

“I want a fight so I can get a title shot. I don’t want to build anything up, or get build up fights or whatever. We’re going for the top and I’m happy that they are giving me the opportunity.”

  • Tiddy28

    No doubt if Gustafsson wins he gets the next shot. But if Mousasi wins, I feel he may have to have one more fight. Maybe against Henderson since he still hasn’t gotten his title fight yet. It’ll be interesting to see what happens if Mousasi wins, but I think it’s obvious what happens if Gustafsson wins.

    • Este012985

      If Henderson beats Machida no doubt he gets a title shot… Although Shogun is on the declined I always wanted to see Mousassi vs Shogun. But I agree with Mousassi winner is next in line.

      • Madmmax

        Shogun looked fat and out of shape his last time out. I’d like to see him rejuvenate his career at middleweight.

        • Velalakan Mano

          Have you seen his thighs…even his ex-manager said, Shogun has thick legs that has a hard time shedding weight.

          • Madmmax

            No, wasn’t looking at his thighs, but at his giggling belly and him sucking wind half way during first round.

    • Velalakan Mano

      Are you dumb. The winner of Henderson/Machida gets the next shot…Dana White even said. So it’s Sonnen, winner of Henderson/Machida and then the winner of Gustaffson/Mousasi. Gustaffson is ALOT slower then Jon Jones. It’s like watching the Big Foot fight vs Cain Velasquez. Cain was running circles around Big Foot. The reason Gustaffson won was because all Shogun was doing was throwing overhand rights and getting hit with jabs. Shogun is done, he’s not explosive and wild anymore. That Jon Jones fight took alot out of him, same with the Dan Henderson fight. He looks like Quinton Jackson now, washed up fighter collecting a paycheck.

  • Madmmax

    Gustafson will pick him apart standing. Mousasi is overrated

    • Velalakan Mano

      Gustaffson has faced who…a steroid using Silva, an old Matshuyenko (pardon my spelling), a washed up Shogun and he got beat by Phil Davis who doesn’t know how to strike (the last I heard, watch the Rashad Evans fight). Gustaffson hasn’t faced Henderson, Rashad, Machida, Teixiera, Bader, Little Nog. Out of the TOP 10 LHW, he only faced 2 and he lost one and won one. Yeah, great competition Gustaffson. Same with Mousasi, he hasn’t faced great competition either. That’s why this is a fight between guys who haven’t yet faced a lot of top 10 fighters. The only threat to Jon Jones is Machida. Henderson is too small and has only that right hand. Mousasi would be a repeat of the Jon Jones/ Shogun fight and Gustaffson is not as fast and quick as Jon Jones. Gustaffson doesn’t have the reach and quickness to deal with Jon Jones. He’s not a good wrestler, so good luck taking down Jon Jones.

      • Madmmax

        And moussasi biggest win was sokuju and sobral. He’s a good fighter, but overrated is all I’m saying. He won’t be taking Gustafson down and will struggle with his reach and boxing.

  • Maddawgmar

    Keep dreaming bro.

  • Stefano ‘Zwonimir’ Sega Nogaro

    Gustafsson just earned his title shot with the win over Shogun (Dana words), UFC is getting every day more ridiculous with these affairs like the Sonnen title shot …

    • Marcus Lai

      Dana did say that but Gusto also said that he won’t wait around for a shot and will continue fighting to stay in shape for the title. Alex asked for this.

    • Velalakan Mano

      Dana is in the fight business to make money…Mousasi is a more dynamic fighter than Gustaffson. Jon Jones is a dynamic fighter, so why not get two dynamic fighters fighting. Gustaffson is just tall and uses his reach well. The way Gustaffson moves around the cage isn’t smooth. Jon Jones would run circles around Gustaffson. Also, Henderson was promised a title shot LONG AGO. So Henderson is first, provided he beats Machida. If Machida wins, then Machida is first. Either way, Gustaffson has to wait for Jon Jones to fight Sonnen,and then the winner of Henderson/Machida fight. Gustaffson has to take this fight or else he would get rusty. But it’s a dangerous fight cause Gegard is fresh, fast and on a winning streak. His only weakness is wrestling, which he has been working on with Dan Henderson.

  • Stanislav Alyas

    Dud this guy really thinks he Deserves a title shot. That’s just too funny

    • George Sperry

      Dud?

    • Davo Apo

      How is that funny you idiot ? Do you even know anything about mma and records…in this case of a Top fighter like Mousasi, Obviously ******* Not

  • socal

    He really needs two beat two top 10 contenders before a title shot considering who jones has beaten to become champ. However beating the swede in convincing fashion should bolt him behind hendo if he beats lyoto.

  • geoff

    finally lets see how mousasi stacks up with the other 205 contenders

  • BoneyJones

    Mousasi is a very good fighter and unlike other armenian fighters in the UFC, manny, karo, sarafian, he doesn’t get worked up and always stays calm. I say mousasi second round KO

  • Extreme_One

    Mousasi will destroy Gustafsson. He has biig holes in his game and got banged on a lot during the Shogun fight.
    I laugh my ass off every time another retard stupid teenage MMA fan say “he need to go down in weight “. about a fighter.

    There is also positive thing from fighting up a weight class.

    Have you mindless people even looked ta his record. He was fighting in pride when everyone was on the roids and still kicking ass at a very young age. Mousasi is the only UFC fighter ever considered for a spot in the

    Olympics boxing team.

    He will send the 15000 home crowd going home in April crying when he finished him by TKO.

    You are the same stupid people who thought Belfort was going to lose. Not even thinking that the winning rate for Brazilian is around 80%.

    But you go ahead and bet on Gustafsson and keep the odds high so I cash in even more April 6.

    • Velalakan Mano

      Don’t get ahead of yourself. I don’t think either Gustaffson or Mousasi will give Jon Jones a tuff time. Mousasi’s weakness has always been his takedown defense and Gustaffson is just a tall, slower fighter than Jon Jones. Gustaffson striking is nowhere near Jon Jones level, nor is Gustaffson wrestling. Only real threat to Jon Jones is Machida with his elusiveness and quickness. Plus he’s got KO power in his hands and a solid jui-jitsu. I have yet to see Gustaffson overpower and out-wrestle anyone. Sometimes watching him fight, it looks like he’s got a pickle up his ass.

      • Extreme_One

        Mousasi is much more well rounded compared to Jones. If Mousasi can get some descent money from UFC so he can have the same peopel as Jones around him he will be very dangerous. His striking is much much technical compared to Jones.
        Ey, I never said anything about Alex.
        Gegard is my guy!

        “Pickle up his ass” ROFL

    • Madmmax

      Shogun is older now and the light heavyweights are bigger and faster. I hope your not betting your on on moussasi. If you do, I hope u can keep laughing your ass off.

      • Extreme_One

        U mean Mousasi vs Gustafsson? Mousasi will take him down and g n p him. Alex is pretty easy to take down. My money is on him already! $150

        • Madmmax

          Good luck

  • http://twitter.com/julianmoranart julian moran

    Mousasi is better then Gustafsson at everything.

  • urdooomb

    Tough fight for Gegard, who was once considered top 5 in the division until he lost to King Mo.

    Alex is no joke and probably the toughest challenge for Mousasi to date. Alex has already beat Shogun so Mousasi is probably not the biggest challenge to date although a very important fight.

    I am surprised that the UFC matched these two against each other. Why not promote Gegard by giving him one or two easy fights?

    • Velalakan Mano

      Shogun has lost as many fight as he has won. HIS NAME is the only big thing left. His game is gone after the Jon Jones and Dan Henderson beatings he took. Shogun is like Quinton Jackson now, washed up and his good days LONG GONE. Gustaffson beat an old and worn out Shogun, thanks to Jon Jones and Henderson. Gustaffson needs to fight a top 5 guy before we talk about him getting a title shot. Mousasi is new and probably will be a top contender, BUT HE ALSO needs to PROVE HIMSELF. Basically, the LHW division is thin on someone who can really give Jon Jones a fight. Unless, Daniel Cormier really does drop down and fight at LHW.

  • logic

    WAR Saucy and Gustaff! Alex has beautiful striking. Saucy is incredibly technical. Alex promised a finish but Gegard has never been finished due to strikes much less ever been visibly hurt. It will be entertaining! Top 10 fights to watch this year. These two are what people call the evolution of mma… can’t wait!!

  • Davo Apo

    Mousasi will go down in history as one of the Best!!!

  • Velalakan Mano

    Gegard will win as long as he works on his wrestling with Dan Henderson. That’s the key. Gustaffson isn’t as quick or explosive as Mousasi is on his feet. Only way for Gustaffson to win is to get a takedown and ground-and-pound. Gegard, if you’re listening, work on your wrestling with Dan Henderson.