Gegard Mousasi on Fight with Dan Henderson: ‘It’s a Do or Die Fight for Me’

January 20, 2015
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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.

SEE ALSO: UFC on FOX 14 Road to the Octagon Full Video

“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

Gerard-Mousasi-0411-Strikeforce-01“Knowing if I lose it will get me all the way down and then it’s a long road coming back; it’s a do or die fight for me I think. I have to win this fight,” added the Iranian-born Dutchman.

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.”

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  • Sir_Roy

    Honestly, I don’t think a win over Hendo puts him back to fighting title contenders. Not at this stage in Hendo’s career. I think a win prevents him from replacing Dan and becoming the new “gatekeeper”. A win means he’ll probably have to blast through 3 top 10 fighters to fall back into contender status and start trading mitts with the top 3 guys again.

    • cheflacsto

      Agree completely, I am glad Dan went back down to 185 after weighing in at something like 203 for his last fight against D.C.

      • Correct


        • cheflacsto

          Was it that low, he definitely should be at 185

    • Lucas Freire

      The long road of the non-marketable fighters.

      • Seth

        I doubt Gegard isn’t marketable…you have a guy who fought all over the world, he’s 35-5…spot on a good PPV with good opponent would do wonders for him.

        • mousaismom

          I agree. Mousasi is marketable. But he needs to get some good wins to back up his reputation as the dark horse of the division.

          Just 5 years ago, he was touted as the top 3 LHW in the world behind Shogun and Lyoto.

          To me Mousasi is one of those early bloomers whose skill sets have not improved dramatically over the years. His wrestling is still questionable (until I see him defending takedowns from top takedown guys he will be a question mark).

          • Sir_Roy

            Indeed. He does not appear to have kept up well with modern top tier competition.

            There are two brands of heyday fighters it would seem; those that have risen to the occasion and proved able to continue to develop their skills to keep on point with the new generation of fighter (Rampage was one, Hendo was one, Lyoto is another and Shogun did that to an extent as well, but even they are now sliding behind the times with the exception of Lyoto IMHO), and those that have been running stagnant more or less since their Pride “glory” days (there is a longer list of these types of fighter, i.e. Crocop, and I hate to say it, Fedor was another who should have retired before he did) .

  • shakejunt

    honestly i hate this fight. gegard says he’ll be aggressive, but i’m not sure i believe him and dan has been pretty miserable to watch the past few years.

  • Raymond Gonzalez

    Not a very compelling fight. What does this prove?

    • Joe Dog

      It proves which one wins. Duh.

  • Guest

    if Hendo drops this fight, i dont see why he shouldn’t be released from UFC and he’s record is 1-4 in his last five. I see Mousasi winning somehow but if Hendo gets the victory, then its cool i guess.