Probably the most influential year in the history of mixed martial arts; 2016 has seen a lot, and it’s not over yet. With the likes of USADA, Georges St-Pierre and the UFC takeover all stealing the headlines, it’s been easy to overlook the more subtle, interesting stories – like the reinvention of Gegard Mousasi.
Mousasi has been around the block, and not just in the UFC. The former Dream and Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion has a whopping 48 professional fights under his belt, including appearances in Pride Fighting Championship and K-1. His resume is a who’s who of top-tier mixed martial arts promotions; if you’ve heard of it, he’s probably fought in it. And to have achieved this by the tender age of 31, a spring chicken in today’s sport, is quite something.
Appearing on Monday’s edition of Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, the Dutchman underlined the evolution of his personality, a progression that has been bubbling away for some time, but one that smacked us in the face during his UFC 204 post-fight press conference. When Helwani tried to further understand this newfound personality, Mousasi alluded to it being there all along, just never called upon:
“I am just being honest. People ask questions. They ask me can I beat Michael Bisping, of course I can beat Michael Bisping. I used to say, yes Michael Bisping is great, I would love to fight him, he’s a great fighter blah blah blah. All that respectful shit don’t work.”
It’s obvious that the penny has now dropped for the 31-year-old, and that the fight game has evolved into a different beast to what he once knew, and he needs to catch up. Mousasi has recognized that despite his advanced skills inside of the cage, his lukewarm approach to trash talking has cost him in the past, the not so distant past. Mousasi told Helwani how he lost out to Anderson Silva for the main event slot against Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night 84 – a career casualty that was undoubtedly caused by his needle moving ability, or lack of:
“I had that fight. I was supposed to fight him [Michael Bisping] in the UK, then probably Anderson [Silva] called and said, I want to fight Michael Bisping, and they gave it to him. I had already signed the contract, they pulled me out of the card.”
With two fights left on his contract, Mousasi is wanting to close his account with a bang, whether it be to solidify his place as a title contender or to give him extra firepower around the negotiation table. Underneath the quiet, unassuming persona, Mousasi has layers to his character that we are just beginning to see, but with the Dutchman earmarking a further decade in the hurt business, there’s no doubt that a lot more will surface.
“I am the future. Even if I am not a champion, I am the future. I am going to be in the top-five always, you know, I am going to be in the top-ten always. They’re [UFC] going to need me.”
They say that the law of attraction is real, and if so, Mousasi is doing nothing but good things by calling for these outcomes, and with his sights set on another fight before the end of the year, he is fast becoming a star that everybody is wanting to see – how times change.
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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