Gegard Mousasi has had high expectations ever since he joined the UFC roster in 2013 following a short stint in Strikeforce, but has rarely lived up to to those expectations.
For example, in his middleweight debut, he lost a unanimous decision to former titleholder Lyoto Machida. Following that, he did pick up a win over the now-retired Mark Munoz, but went on to get submitted by top contender Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza just over a year ago.
If Gegard Mousasi Ever Makes a Run at the Title, The Time Is Now
As you can see, Mousasi is able to beat top 10, top 15 and un-ranked opponents but can’t quite get over that top five hump. Proven by past fights, he loses to the best of the best, such as Souza and Machida.
At only 30-years old, Mousasi has had a busy fighting career and since his pro-debut in 2003, has developed a record of (37-5-2). He has a lot of “fight years” under his banner, so he’s not going to be in the MMA game for ten more years or even close to that. He’s come to that point where, if he plans on making a run at the title, The Time is Now.
Currently riding a two-fight winning streak with wins over legend Dan Henderson and Costas Philippou, ‘The Dreamcatcher’ is riding momentum going into his co-main event with Uriah Hall on Saturday night. With that being said, if he wants to gain contender status and work his way towards the belt, currently held by Chris Weidman, he needs a huge victory in Japan.
Hall is very athletic and skilled, but he isn’t a high level opponent like Machida and Souza were, and fighters like Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero would be. You can’t always expect a fighter to dominate the best of the best, but he does need a big victory — preferably a finish — against Hall, because ‘Primetime’ isn’t a top contender — he isn’t even listed in the official UFC rankings.
From previous performances, we’ve seen Mousasi and Hall don’t always show up in prime condition. No matter the case, realistically, Mousasi should pick up his third-consecutive win here for the reasons stated earlier. With that being said, if the best Hall we’ve seen and a poor Mousasi show up on Saturday night, we could be seeing Hall pick up his biggest win of his career, rather than Mousasi pick up a must-need win.
At the very least, Mousasi needs this win to stay relevant in the stacked 185-pound division. But, if he wants to be in title contention and listed in the same sentence as Weidman, Rockhold, Souza and Romero, he needs a dominant stoppage win to earn a fight that will even further make him a contender.
Will that happen?
We’ll see whether or not that happens, when Mousasi and Hall square off in the co-headliner of UFC Fight Night 75 on Saturday night, live from the Super Saitama Arena in Saitama, Japan.
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