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Gegard Mousasi’s plans for immediate future involve pair of opponents

Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi hasn’t fought on American soil since losing his title by way of decision to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal seven months ago and, according to Mousasi himself, he will be taking a third bout in Japan before eventually returning to the States in early 2001.

The 25-year old, who won both of his DREAM-related match-ups in the interim, recently discussed his upcoming schedule with MMAJunkie and revealed not only will he be fighting on New Year’s Eve at K-1’s annual “Dynamite!!” event, but also expects to face Mike Kyle in in February at a yet-to-be-named Strikeforce event.

As far as his opponent on December 31st, Mousasi explained renowned kickboxer Jerome LeBanner as a legitimate possibility based on having been offered, and accepting, the potential match-up but also stated nothing had been confirmed yet. LeBanner has not fought in MMA since 2006 but is 3-1-1 professionally and won his final three bouts before focusing on his usual trade (where he has more than 75 wins).

Comparably, Mousasi is 4-0 as a kickboxer but 30-3-1 as a Mixed Martial Artist. His loss to Lawal is the only blemish on his record covering a span of more than four years and involving eighteen fights. The Dutch-Armenian holds notable wins over Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, Melvin Manhoef, Bellator 185-pound champ Hector Lombard, and Strikeforce’s middleweight title-holder Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

  • Rece Rock says:

    another SF fighter making a living and building a brand outside of SF…

    I want to see a King Mo rematch.

  • MCM says:

    I think he’s a bit late if he wants to return in 2001. 😉

    Besides, I see the UFC picking him up as soon as he’s done with his SF contract. I think that after 122’s lackluster showing between the top two guys in the UFC not named Silva, their looking for new exciting fighters and Mousasi is definitely that.

  • LiverPunch says:

    “another SF fighter making a living and building a brand outside of SF”

    I would like to see the rematch too but he is a fighter that fights in SF, he is not THEIR fighter. Unlike all of the UFC fighters SF fighters can say they are free of ownership to a large extent. This is the reason a lot of fighters, that are on the big money already, don’t go to the UFC. They are a lot freer and don’t need the UFCs marketing machine to boost their careers.

    “Besides, I see the UFC picking him up as soon as he’s done with his SF contract”

    Sounds familiar. Thats because it was said about Mousasi after he left M1 and just before he signed this new contract with SF, it is said every time any good fighter out of the UFC sneezes for f#cks sake, as if they all want to be in the UFC. What incentive is there for him to join the UFC?. Money? I doubt it, the only reason for him to join the UFC, that I can see, is the chance to fight UFC LHWs. Is Mousasi’s hunger to fight the UFC LHWs great enough for him to sign away any opportunities he may have in Boxing, kickboxing, Japan, SF or the rest of the world? I don’t think so and so far neither does he. He also has a Dream contract too, does he not? so he can’t sign until that is done. In case you forgot UFC fighter can ONLY fight in the UFC. A lot of SF fighters can only fight in SF in the US but are free to fight in Japan or anywhere in the world for whoever they choose …except the UFC that is. That is the way it should be, you have an obligation to fight somewhere but not ONLY there.

    Mousasi is a very good fighter and a real asset for Dream and SF to have. He has had a good relationship with them and M1 over the years and is a big draw in Japan and I think this will continue. The UFC will not want to pay big dollars for him (which he will ask for) when the UFC LHW div is not in need of any injection of names such as his (which are not going to pull in that many PPV $ in the US straight away). The UFC LHW div has Ortiz, Machida, Shogun, Jones, Silva, Griffin, Evans, Bader, Rampage etc and is quite full enough for ZUFFA to want to pay big $ for Mousasi.

    Not all fighters want to be in the UFC and I’m sure that is also true for fighters in the UFC too but the reason they may not want to be ZUFFA fighters is the thing that is stopping them from leaving, they have no choice until their contract is done.

    P.S. Hi Rece.

  • MCM says:

    I think you missed my point LP.

    I think it’s Dana that will be actively chasing Gerard this time. With a seemingly unbeatable champ, steroid allegations, and lackluster fights between it’s top ranked fighters, the UFC is in desperate need of some new and exciting blood in the MW division. It’s basically the same thing they did with Vitor. I know Gerard has been fighting LHW recently, but he can still fight at MW and has remarked that he’d like to.

    You’re right in that a fighter does not necessarily need to fight in the UFC to become successful. And there are certain things one must give up if they choose to sign a Zuffa contract. But unlike someone like Fedor (who doesn’t want to fight in the UFC for most of the reasons you stated), Mousasi has said several times that his goal is to become a UFC champion.

    If Mousasi starts dropping hints that he’s ready to join the UFC as soon as his contract is up, I can’t see any reason that Dana wouldn’t pursue him as doggedly as he did Shields and it could wind up very much in Gerard’s favor.

  • LiverPunch says:

    Hey it could happen. I just don’t see it though. If you are smart, you never ever discount the possibility and take the best deal offered. You may be right and the UFC may come up with that offer and I hope they do (after his rematch with Mo and perhaps a fight with Cavalcante).
    It just annoys me that when ever a non-UFC fighter is interviewed and has been asked the mandatory question “… bla bla UFC bla bla…?” his answer is always seen to be a long heart-felt desire to fight in the UFC even if he just states he is open to it. I would bet most fighters would prefer not to have to sign that contract.but in todays world it makes sense for so many because the UFC is seen as MMA for a large amount of people around the world. You must agree that the UFC fighters are nearly always seen as better even though there is little if any solid evidence to back this theory up, often casual fans are not even aware of fighters such as Melendez, Fedor or Overeem.
    For an example, many people who I talk to who know about the UFC and are casual fans often ask me what MMA is? can you imagine this in any other sport, Somebody talking to you about the NBA and then asking what basketball is?.
    I hope you are right and he drops and gives MW a shake up.
    I guess i’m just over this whole M1, Fedor, SF, UFC, Werdum, Overeem, K1, signing, not signing shit. Just fight damn it.

  • While Im with you about being over the whole will Fedor or overeem ever sign with the ufc, there is nothing but solid evidence that the UFC’s top tier is head and shoulders above the rest of the fighting organizations top tier’s

    Mousasi has ONE victory over any fighter of substance that isnt a ufc washup(manhoef) and his loses except for king mo are all by ufc washups.
    King Mo wouldnt last a round with Vlady, Bonnar, Kryztof, Vera, or T Silva…how do you think he’d do against the top tier?
    Every top fighter who comes to the UFC falls(Kang, Cro Cop, Nogueria, Akiyama, and the list goes on)
    While i agree that just because a fighter being in the UFC doesnt make him a better fighter due to the brand on his contract, it does seem that the UFC does get the better fighters and actually utilizes them in order to fight the each other whereas if they dont fight in the UFC all they do is piss away a good career fighting bums cans and has beens for the most part occasionally running into a top tier opponent( Werdum vs. Fedor)
    I wish people would quit hating on the UFC for being the “Evil Corporate Giant”(and Im not sayin you are LP but i hear it alot) when truthfully NO organization has or will ever do what they do or are trying to do for the sport in taking it worldwide and making it big in every country world wide.

  • Niv says:

    superdavenorcal, I just would like to weigh in on the every top fighter who comes to the UFC falls part.

    Cro Cop was in his 30’s when he came and he declined faster than any fighter I’ve ever seen, but the writing should have been on the wall that he was reasy to falter. Big Nog was clearly on his decline yet managed to become interim UFC HW Champ before anyone got to him in the UFC. Akiyama well no excuses there, but I do think there’s enough talent there for him to be athreat still he’s far from done.

    Why not mention top fighters like Shogun (current UFC LHW Champ), Anderson Silva (current MW CHamp) couldn’t cut in in Pride and had to leave, Rampage (former UFC LHW Champ), Dan Henderson who’s only losses in UFC were to ex-Pride fighters.

    The UFC has the majority of the top mma fighters out there, but don’t kid yourself that fighters that can beat top UFC fighters exist in other organizations, the Fedor’s, Mousaasi’s, Overeem’s are all top fighters that are worthy of headliners anywhere they fight.

  • Rece Rock says:

    What up LP…stop by more often.


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