Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi is working his way up the middleweight ladder. At this Saturday's UFC 210, Mousasi takes on former champion Chris Weidman. Fightful's "Showdown" Joe Ferraro spoke to Mousasi at this week's media scrum about the middleweight division and more.
JOE: Obviously this division is a bit of a mess right now. How important is it to make a statement in this fight—almost a finish, versus a Chris Weidman, or is it just, gotta get the win?
MOUSASI: “I've got to get the win. At the end of the day, I'm not going to take unnecessary risks. If I make a sloppy mistake, he wins. They're not going to appreciate me for that. So I'm just going to be dominant and I'm going to win.”
You've been around this sport for a really long time, as well as muay thai and kickboxing. If you were to break down this fight, how would you break down this fight, if you were an analyst and you were working on television?
“Well, it's simple. He's going to come forward, go for the takedowns, try to keep me there, do some ground and pound. His style doesn't change. He always fights the same way. But I feel I have the better stand up, I have great takedown defense, I'm going to win this fight.”
This division is kind of on hold right now, with what's happening at the top. Does that annoy you, since you're so close, potentially, to getting a title shot?
“Yeah. They're fucking, actually, up my chances of getting the title. It's all about opportunity, and if you get the shot. So, I'm doing my job. They should do their job. And give me the title shot.”
You're an old school guy that's turning into this different type of character, because you're speaking your mind now. Before, you were very reserved. Now, you're speaking your mind. Do you enjoy doing that now?
“Well, we seen what Donald Trump did. He's the President. Loudmouths get opportunities that other people don't get. That's what people like, I don't know. They don't like the nice guy, the humble guy. I'm going to give them what they want. I'm just showing more of my personality. I'm just saying what I'm thinking. But I'm not acting. I'm not suddenly going into the stare down and wearing a pink shirt or whatever. Or act out, or lift up. I'm the same guy.”
Final question. Saturday night, if you had a perfect fight, what would it be?
“Knock out. Knock him out in one minute and then go eat some pizza or something like that.”