Dream middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi has long indicated his desire to make a jump up in weight classes as his young frame matures.
The Dutch fighter threw around some extra weight assisting Fedor Emelianenko in preparation for a fight with Andre Arlovski, and has been sitting on the shelf since winning Dream’s title last September.
Now, an opportunity appears to have materialized for Mousasi, though its prospects are still uncertain. A fight at Dream 9 on May 25 is in the works, with Mousasi expected to move up a weight class to face light heavyweight Rameau Thierry Sokodjou, according to Joost Raimond, the COO of M-1 Global, which manages Mousasi.
But Raimond could not confirm that the fight was anywhere close to a done deal, or whether the match-up had even been offered by Dream.
And according to one of Sokodjou’s representatives, Heath Sims, it hasn’t.
“We haven’t even received an offer,” Sims told MMAInsider. “If they were to offer it, we might be interested, but we’d have to talk about a lot of things first.”
Sims did confirm that Sokodjou was offered, and accepted, a fight against Mousasi at Dream 7 on March 8, but Mousasi turned the fight down, citing lack of time to prepare.
The summer card is the second round of the Japanese promotion’s featherweight tourney, with star Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto expected to participate.
Sokodjou, 24, is now 5-4 after a meteoric rise to popularity following wins over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona. The Cameroon native has faced only top-tier talent since the 2007 upset wins, and a fight with Mousasi would certainly fall in line with his penchant for taking difficult matches.
Mousasi, Sokodjou’s junior of a year, carries an impressive 27-2-1 record since his professional debut at the tender age of eighteen. Long considered a hot prospect, M-1′s relationship with Pride, Dream, and Affliction have given him a wider audience and fan base.
MMAInsider will update this story as more information becomes available.