We saw the Gegard Mousasi that dominated the likes of Mark Hunt, Renato Sobral, Melvin Manhoef and others for years Saturday, as the former Strikeforce champion earned a first round submission victory over Mark Munoz in the main event of UFC Fight Night 41 from Germany.
Coming off a disappointing decision loss to Lyoto Machida earlier this year in Brazil, Mousasi (35-4-2) wasted little time in taking control of the fight. He kept Munoz from gaining the advantage with his wrestling, something “The Dreamcatcher” continues to work on himself.
“Wrestling is always something I work on,” he said. “Overall, I try to get better (at everything), bu wrestling for the most part.”
Mousasi dominated the numbers, landing 32 total strikes to just four by Munoz. He also held a 28-4 advantage in terms of significant strikes before locking up the rear-naked choke.
By improving to 2-1 inside the Octagon, he is now looking to get matched up with a fellow former Strikeforce competitor.
“I think either (Luke) Rockhold or (Tim) Kennedy,” said Mousasi, when asked who he’d like to fight next. “Somebody to get me closer to a title shot. I’m not challenging anyone, but of course I want to (fight) a (recent) winner. Whatever gets me closer to a title shot, I’m ready.”
With Munoz and his wrestling background, Mousasi knew he’d be facing a forward-thinking fighter. He used that to his advantage, slipping out of a takedown attempt early and showcasing his own skills on the ground to score the finish.
“He is always coming forward,” he said. “I wanted to pick up the angles and slowly pick up the pressure. It went well.”
Munoz (13-5) suffered his second straight first round loss, as Machida stopped him with a head-kick last November. He is now 8-5 with the UFC, but just 1-3 in his last four overall.