Gegard Mousasi has not really made an impact in the UFC yet, but the time is coming for the Dutch fighter. He won his first UFC match, against Ilir Latifi in early April. The original opponent, Alexander Gustafsson was to have been a very solid test for Mousasi, but the win over Latifi was absent of anything memorable. Now, Mousasi is talking about dropping down to Middleweight, and he is even talking about potentially fighting Vitor Belfort.
A win over Belfort, combined with his outstanding 34-3 overall MMA record, would likely fastrack Mousasi into a title fight. Champion Anderson Silva is defending the Middleweight belt against Chris Weidman, with the winner potentially getting Mousasi next.
Belfort is coming off two very impressive wins as he took out Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold with strikes. Both men were on the cusp of a title shot, until Belfort sent them back down the ladder with his fists and feet.
It will be interesting to see if Belfort accepts the match. Should he win that fight, he will almost force the UFC to give him another title shot, however Belfort has been known to pass up matches in the past. Belfort has been performing at a very high level again and he seems to be over those types of issues now that he is in his mid thirties, but Mousasi is a scary opponent.
Mousasi is extremely well rounded. He has a skilled stand up game that is crafty and unorthodox. For all the hype around Belfort’s boxing, he is not a great boxer. He has fast hands and looks for a big punch, but if the match turns into a standup affair Mousasi has a lot more in the toolbox than Belfort.
Mousasi is equally skilled on the ground. Mousasi has won roughly 1/3 of his fights via submission, so his track record speaks for itself. Belfort, for all his hype as a BJJ black belt and near arm bar finish on Jon Jones, really doesn’t use JJ in his fights. he has 3 subs in his career, and one of those is an arm bar against Joe Charles, who was already ancient when that match took place last century.
Belfort will always have the potential for a KO, but barring that option, this match will see Mousasi become #1 contender at 185 lbs. Be on the lookout for the line to pop up at the books, and grab it if Mousasi is an underdog in this one.