UFC stand-out Gegard Mousasi has been competing at 205 pounds for the past few years, but it appears his future in the Octagon will be as a middleweight. Though he hasn’t wholeheartedly decided to dip back down to the division he called home before signing with Strikeforce, Mousasi has mentioned the likelihood on a number of occasions based on his belief he has a better chance of winning a title against similarly-sized opponents.
Mousasi elaborated on his mindset in a recent interview with MMAFighting where he made it clear he wasn’t necessarily intimidated by larger foes but wanted to avoid giving his adversaries any advantages.
“It’s all about match-ups. 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,” said Mousasi. “The fight I had last 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,” he continued.
Belfort is considered by most to be the top contender at middleweight after back-to-back knockouts of Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold. He’s also one of the larger 185ers on the roster, adding weight to Mousasi’s claims that size isn’t the biggest factor involved in the decision-making process.
“I don’t have any problem fighting Jon Jones either,” he clarified when asked about making a run at Anderson Silva. “So before people make something else out of it and say, ‘Ah, he’s already losing’ — I’m confident. I’m a fighter. If I don’t have any confidence I can win a fight, then I shouldn’t be fighting. So it’s not about that. It’s just being smart.”
The 34-3-2 Mousasi made his UFC debut in April, beating Ilir Latifi on short notice when original opponent Alexander Gustafsson went down with injury. He is currently sidelined with a knee injury but should be back in action by year’s end.