Gegard Mousasi leaning heavily towards middleweight, wants Vitor Belfort or other top contender
Gegard Mousasi is currently rehabbing his injured knee, but when he returns, the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion may very well be fighting in a brand new division.
"There's a big chance that I will go to middleweight," Mousasi revealed to MMAFighting.com "It all depends on the fights that I'm going to get. If I'm going to get a big name at middleweight, I'll probably go down.
"It's all about matchups. Let's say they're going to give me somebody like Vitor Belfort that's maybe a contender. That's the kind of fight I want."
Mousasi fought much of his early career in Japan at middleweight, and easily tipped the scales at 204 pounds without cutting weight for his UFC debut.
In the past, the 27-year-old believed dropping back down would've been a dicey proposition, but after considering the way he's recently trained and the ease with which he's lost weight, he's now confident it won't be a problem.
"To be honest, I believe middleweight will be much better for me," Mousasi said. "I will give my opponent less advantages. But at the end of the day it's all about skills. That doesn't mean that size advantages always win, but like I've said, in the highest level, you don't want to give the slightest edge to your opponent. Everyone is skilled, everyone has abilities. So that's why I think middleweight will be much more suitable to my body frame.
"It's all about the opportunity," he continued. "I really want to go for this belt. I believe that style-wise, matchup-wise, I matchup much better against Anderson Silva than Jon Jones, but it doesn't mean that I'm scared to fight at 205. Jon Jones is skilled and so is Anderson Silva, but at the highest levels, when you're competing against the top levels, you don't want to give anybody an advantage. So I don't want to give a weight and size difference advantage also. That's why I said middleweight."
Mousasi is currently ahead of schedule in his recovery from injury and is targeting a late-2013 comeback to the Octagon. When he returns, the Dutch-Armenian fighter hopes to immediately make up for lost time.
"My focus is to get to the belt as soon as possible," said Mousasi. "I‘ve done the route of [waiting]. I don't have those things that other fighters complain about, jetlag and days off. I don't have those issues. I never have. So I'm just looking for big fights.
"The fight I had last (Ilir Latifi), the guy wasn't known, he wasn't ranked. It doesn't mean anything. But I have a history. I only haven't fought in UFC, but I have a history. People come and get immediate title shots. I don't think that's going to be the case for me, but I've beaten champions, ex-champions. So it's all about one, maybe two big names and then I hope to get a title shot."
Leonard Garcia's team bashes Bellator, questions claim of 'phantom' rep
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney claims his promotion never once contacted Leonard Garcia (15-11-1) about a potential deal with the tournament-based promotion. Garcia's team isn't buying it.
"In light of Bellator's alleged legal chicanery with their own champions like Eddie Alvarez and Zach Makovsky, and high-profile fighters like Leonard Garcia making known their desire to avoid a potentially bad situation, it is not surprising Bellator is trying to get ahead of the bad PR plaguing their promotion," Garcia's reps at Haymaker's Empire Sports Management wrote in a statement issued to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "However, this story about a 'phantom' Bellator representative making phony offers to fighters just strains credulity."
Garcia fought 17 times under the Zuffa banner from 2007 until this past month's UFC 159 event. While always an entertaining brawler, Garcia suffered five consecutive losses in the UFC's octagon and was released from his contract with the promotion...
DDP, Sinosic, Shamrock, Baroni, Varner and more give UFC 159 Predictions
Muhsin Corbbrey (15-7-2 MMA, Pro Boxer, Kickboxer and ESPN Asia Veteran) - “Jon Jones wins this fight via superior athletics and skill, I think it’ll make it to the third round and Sonnen may even get him down early via the takedown. But I think ‘Bones’ stops him with strikes in the 3rd.”
Jamie Varner (21-7-1-2, former WEC Lightweight Champion) - “Jones wins even though I am a Sonnen fan.”
Shayna Baszler (15-8, FCF Women’s Bantamweight Grand Prix Champion) – “Instead of analyzing this with rational and all that, I’m totally fanning out and cheering for Chael!!”
Frank Shamrock (23-10-2, Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, WEC Light Heavyweight Champion & Strikeforce Middleweight Champion) – “Bones Jones wins via TKO, then Sonnen retires and works on FOX telecast.”