Gegard Mousasi on Lyoto Machida Fight: “It’s a Must Win For Me”

February 14, 2014
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Gegard-Mousasi-Strikeforce-450x260The UFC Fight Night 36 main event features a middleweight match-up between two former titleholders, Gegard Mousasi and Lyoto Macida, with title shot implications.

Mousasi (34-3-2) will be returning to the middleweight division for the first time since 2008. The last time he fought at 185 pounds, he won the DREAM 2008 Middleweight Grand Prix and was crowned the inaugural DREAM middleweight champion.

His decision to return to the weight class was motivated by the landscape of the division and his belief that the path to a title shot is shorter in the middleweight division than at light heavyweight.

UFC president Dana White recently indicated that the winner of the fight is a “no brainer” for a middleweight title shot, but still wants to see the fight before issuing any guarantees. Mousasi, for his part, is approaching the fight with the mindset that he’ll receive the opportunity if he wins.

“For me, it’s the biggest fight for me. Biggest as in the opportunity that I’m going to get if I win this fight,” Mousasi told MMAWeekly.com. “It’s a very important fight for me. I’m very excited for this fight. It’s a must win for me.”

Machida often frustrates his opponents with his low output style that relies on footwork, speed, and accuracy. Mousasi is well aware of what the Brazilian brings to the table and is confident that he’s prepared physically and mentally.

“He’s a difficult fighter to fight. He has holes in his game. He makes his own mistakes, but he’s a difficult fighter to fight,” said Mousasi about his opponent. “He’s a very smart fighter. He don’t do a lot. You have to fight smart if you want to win against him.

“I’m in shape. Mentally I’m strong, and I think that’s the most important part in this fight,” added the 28-year-old. “Physically I’m ready, but I think mentally I’m at my best.”

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  • Mihael Hajdin

    Winner of this fight and the winner of Jacare vs Carmont for the #1 mw contender, that way there will be no doubt who deservs the title shot..

    • lowlb

      naw… Machida has been around longer and fought the tough fights. If Machida wins (IMO) I think he deserves a title fight. Jacare Carmont and Mousasi haven’t fought enough in the UFC for a title fight.
      And I think the UFC has abandoned any respect for the ranking system..
      I wonder why this is do or die Mousasi?
      He’s 28 and has many more years to battle the top guys..

      • Mihael Hajdin

        well if Machida stops Mousasi he should get the title shot, but if its some bullshit split decision, he should fight winner of jacare, carmont, and Machida has only 1 fight at mw..That being said the dream fight to make would be TRT-Vitor vs Machida!!

      • robc

        It’s do or die from a title contention perspective. A loss here means he would have to go back and win at least 3-4 fights before consideration again. He is a tough sell in the UFC, casual fans have no clue who he is and his Strikeforce performances were underwhelming (especially the loss to King Mo). If he loses to Machida, it will be a long time before anyone takes him seriously at 185

      • Mihael Hajdin

        well if Machida stops Mousasi that yes he should get the next shot but if its some crappy split decision than he should prove his #1 contender status by fighting winner of Jacare vs Carmont and dont forger that Machida has only 1 fight at mw, that being said the dream fight to make would be Machida vs TRT-Vitor!!

        • Maddawgmar

          I don’t understand why people are putting Jacare even close to a title shot? Marunde, Brunson, Herman, Camozzi, are not even close to top ten. His only win over a ranked guy was Okami. I say if the main event is a spectacular victory then the winner gets a shot. Then winner of Jacare/Carmont faces Rockhold for title shot.

  • horace

    the mouse ain’t beating Machida. ain’t no arab beating Machida. joke fight.

    • Mihael Hajdin

      Tough fight for Mousasi and Machida is a clear favorite but Mousasi is no joke and I wouldent be suprised if he pulls it of..

    • Bucket of Chicken

      He’s actually ethnic Armenian but born in Iran. He’s not Arab, moron.

  • TRT-rex

    Whys does everyone count out moussasi? Machida is great and all, but if this goes to the ground, which it most likely will, I see moussasi winning. When Gerard is motivated he can beat anyone IMO.

    • Jon Doe

      what? when has anyone ever held Machida for more than a minute? Jones couldnt, Davis couldnt, Tito couldnt and thats “if” you could take him down.

      • TRT-rex

        We will see. Main event is next.

        • Jon Doe

          I can’t even gloat, Moose is Top 5 Middle or LHW, he ate them kicks and knees to the body but I’m sure he’ll feel it tomorrow. He also took 3 head Kicks clean. Dang he also got whacked with a few good lefts as well. Oh there was that moment where it went to the ground like you said… but it was Machida who put him there and had back control as well. He did lay on him for a minute and change though he didnt cause any damage and Machida was pulling rubber guard but that reverse looked good. Man did you see that last punch at the end? Watch it slow mo Machida Landed Flush, 10 more seconds he would of been Knocked out. I’m going to make a Gift of that flying GNP punch. You right! I see now