STRIKEFORCE import Gegard Mousasi will be facing top contender Alexander Gustafsson this April in an event scheduled for Sweden. The fight will have definite title implications in the Lightheavyweight division, where Jon Jones has reigned over the current crop of contenders. This fight brings new blood to the division! This will be a very difficult fight to put odds on for the books, as Gustafsson is riding a solid 6 fight UFC winning streak and Mousasi may not be as well known. Mousasi is likely the better fighter however, so if he is the underdog when the lines come out, that is a solid dog to be betting!
Mousasi has spent his career outside the UFC, but he has maintained a fantastic 33-3-2 record fighting anywhere from 185 lbs to heavyweight. Mousasi’s one potential disadvantage is that he will be considerably smaller than Gustafsson, and at 6’1 he is smaller than a lot of the division’s top names, including obviously titleholder Jon Jones.
Mousasi just made short work of Mike Kyle, who has fought at heavyweight, in his last outting and he owns wins over the likes of Jake O’Brien and Mark Hunt, both big men.
Gustafsson showed just how rugged he can be in his last outting against Mauricio Rua, as he used his physical advantages to grind out a win. He is big and long and can handle taking some punishment to dish it out.
Gustafsson will likely want to use a similar game plan against Mousasi – box at a distance and win rounds, and be bigger and stronger in the clinches.
Mousasi is a great striker however, and he could take Gustafsson out of his gameplan with aggression. He has an unorthodox ground game as well, and has won a lot of fights by submission, so his best option might be on the ground. Gustafsson is solid there as well, but Mousasi’s experience may be the difference.
Mousasi’s entry into the UFC’s Lightheavyweight division is not easy. Like Hector Lombard, who was imported into the UFC’s middleweight division recently, Mousasi is in a very tough opening fight against a guy who will be fighting in his hometown.
Whether he wins or loses, in Mousasi you will likely see one of the most relaxed athletes you are ever going to see in MMA. When mousasi is focused, and he should be for his long awaited UFC debut, there is very little that can throw him off his game. If he comes in the underdog for this fight, take the bet, as he is unlikely to be an underdog in many future fights.