The final STRIKEFORCE event, scheduled for January 12th, 2013 in Oklahoma City will have a 205 lb Lightheavyweight fight between Mike Kyle and Gegard Mousasi on the main card, which airs on SHOWTIME. The two have been scheduled to meet at least 3 times in the past, but the match has never come to fruition for one reason or another. One reason to watch this bout is that in the Lightheavyweight class, there may be no better fighter in the world outside of the UFC than Mousasi, when he is on and motivated. The prospect of him being added to the UFC roster is exciting. Kyle too might contribute to the UFC, but it is Mousasi who has the most upside. Let’s take a look at the fight.
Mousasi owns an impressive 32-3-2 record in MMA, and has a slew of wins against competition that ragnges from Middleweights to Heavyweights. His most impressive wins come against Heavyweights Jake O’Brien and Mark Hunt, and against stand outs Hector Lombard, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’, Melvin Manhoef and Denis Kang. He has shown knock out power, and he also has 10 wins by submission, so he is very well rounded. At just 27 years old, he has a lot of world class experience in his 10 years fighting.
So Kyle is unlikely to present Mousasi with anything he has not seen before, though he will be bigger and stronger. Kyle is going to have the proverbial puncher’s chance.
If Kyle does break through and win, what will the UFC do with him? Kyle, is best remembered as a hot head who could not control himself from hitting after the bell, and that sort of thing. He did it on multiple occasions. Granted, he may have matured since then, but he is basically 1-2 in his last 3 fights (one loss, in 33 seconds to Rafael ‘Feijao’, was turned to a NC later by the commission, but he was wiped out) and does not have the depth of game to handle Mousasi without some luck.
This is the type of match people are advising fighters not to take. Mousasi runs a risk of losing, and that would affect his entry to the UFC in many ways. For his part, Mousasi has not fought in over a year, missing all of 2012 as STRIKEFORCE struggled to get their contracted fighters fights.
If he comes in motivated, which he has not on several occasions (see Keith Jardine and his most recent fight against Ovince St Preux), he is among the best in the world, and could present a potential future challenge to Jon Jones or Anderson Silva.