Gegard Mousasi is a man with a plan.
The top ranked 185-pound contender will battle for the middleweight championship at Bellator 200 in May where he faces incumbent champion Rafael Carvalho in his second bout for the promotion.
Winning gold at middleweight was Mousasi’s mission on the first day he signed with Bellator last year and he hopes to accomplish that goal on May 25 when he meets Carvalho in London.
“He’s confident. He’s tough. I haven’t seen him against top level guys but if you have a record of 14-1 and his first loss was all the way at the beginning of his career so he’s a champion for a reason,” Mousasi said about Carvalho. “There’s no easy fights. He’s a southpaw, that’s a little bit tricky for me. I’m going into the fight as the superior fighter but it’s a fight. You go in there and be prepared as best you can be and you can still lose. After my last fight [against Alexander Shlemenko], I was a little bit down but I look forward to this fight.
“Just know that I’m coming to fight. I’ve never had two bad performances in a row so I always come back stronger.”
The fight against Shlemenko still comes up quite often for Mousasi even five months removed from getting the win despite barely being able to see for much of the third round after he took a shot in the eye that ended with a massive amount of swelling.
“A lot of people said I lost the fight, I went back and I’m an honest guy — I’ll say if I lost, I lost, but I clearly won rounds one and two,” Mousasi said. “Round three was obviously his and people judge by rounds. The judges score by rounds. It was a clear victory for me. It was a unanimous decision also by the judges.
“I don’t understand with people complaining that I lost the fight.”
As it turns out, one of the people most critical of his last performance is a fighter Mousasi hopes to face next should he wrestle the title away from Carvalho in May.
Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald has mentioned several times that he was interested in moving up to middleweight and that a fight against Mousasi would definitely interest him.
Mousasi certainly isn’t complaining about that idea because he loves the way he matches up with MacDonald should he decide to test the waters at 185 pounds.
“I look forward to that fight actually,” Mousasi said about fighting MacDonald. “It’s all about style matchups and I think Rory’s a good matchup for me to be honest. He’s a tough kid but style wise, I have a big advantage over him. If I go to light heavyweight, I would have a more difficult time but the way I see it, if I win this belt, fight Rory MacDonald and then go to light heavyweight where I will have tougher times.”
If there’s one thing that Mousasi and MacDonald share in common, it’s their stoic demeanor leading up to a fight that could end up in one of the most epic stare downs in mixed martial arts history.
In fact, Mousasi couldn’t help but laugh when it was suggested that he engage in a staring contest with MacDonald before stepping into the cage with him. That being said, Mousasi is all about business when it comes to MacDonald, especially after his comments about the fight with Shlemenko.
“He looks like a serial killer that guy,” Mousasi said about MacDonald. “Last fight he had some comments about my performance. I like the guy. He’s a humble guy. He had some words about my last fight and now he can come and get it.”