Former Strikeforce and DREAM champion Gegard Mousasi made his UFC debut in April 2013 headlining an event in Stockholm, Sweden. He’s fought four times for the fight promotion and headlined each event.
After losing twice in his last three outings, to Lyoto Machida and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, the 29-year-old has lost his contender status, but hasn’t fallen that far down the pecking order in the middleweight division.
On Saturday, at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Mousasi faces former UFC and PRIDE titleholder Dan Henderson in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 14, and hopes a win over such a marquee name will put him back on the path toward a title shot.
“A win over Dan Henderson is going to get me to fight some big names again, like the contenders. It’s going to get me to the next level again and a little bit closer to a title shot. It’s a big fight for me,” Mousasi recently told MMAWeekly.com.
At 44, Henderson is in the twilight of his career. But with his one-punch knockout power, he’s always a dangerous opponent.
“He’s a legend. He’s a big name. He’s always dangerous. He’s a little bit slowing down I think now, but he’s still very dangerous. I have to be careful,” Mousasi said about his opponent.
“Of course with the wrestling he’ll have the advantage. But other than that I see myself doing very well on the ground and the stand-up,” he said about the stylistic match-up. “I look forward to the fight. I really do. I think it’s going to be an exciting fight.”
Mousasi says he’s well prepared, injury free, in shape and coming into the fight “fresh.” He predicted a victory, but declined to elaborate on the specifics of the outcome.
“I’m just going to go and leave it all out there,” he said. “I’m going to be aggressive.”