Ninth-ranked UFC middleweight Gegard Mousasi (37-6-2) has never lost back-to-back fights in his 13-year mixed martial arts career. “The Dreamcatcher” doesn’t plan on that changing when he heads into the UFC Fight Night 84 co-main event against Thales Leites (25-5) in London on Saturday coming off of a loss.
Leites has been fighting professionally as long as Mousasi, both making their debuts in 2003. Experience is an attribute Mousasi mentioned when describing his Feb. 27 opponent.
“I see that he’s improved a lot in his stand-up. When he fought Anderson (Silva), he only wanted to go for takedowns, but in his last fight he was only fighting stand-up because he got very confident in his stand-up. Obviously, he’s well rounded. He has a lot of experience. It’s a tough fight,” Mousasi told MMAWeekly.com.
Mousasi was defeated in his last outing by Uriah Hall early in the second frame after dominating the opening round. He’s had a solid training camp leading up to this fight and attributes the last loss to overzealous in her pursuit for a finish.
“Everybody says that they’re in the best shape of their lives, but I’m stronger. I’m in much better shape than in my previous fights, and physically I’m much stronger. I’m more sharp,” he said. “I’m not going to do anything stupid.”
The fight is a pivotal bout for both men’s careers. The winner will remain a viable title contender, while the loser will be facing a long climb back up the division’s rankings. Mousasi plans to show that he’s still one of the best middleweights in the world by defeating Leites.
“Obviously, I need to prove that I’m still one of the best fighters,” Mousasi said. “I want to have a dominant performance to show that I’m still one of the best fighters. I need a dominant performance.”