The debut of former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi (34-3-2) was long-overdue when he first stepped in to the Octagon last April.
His original opponent was meant to be top contender Alexander Gustafsson until an injury forced the Swede out of competition in his home country. His replacement was physical and disciplinary opposite, Ilir Latifi, who trained with Gustafsson.
While Latifi gave a fight against one of the best fighters of our time, it wasn’t enough to derail Mousasi’s UFC debut. A debut that satisfied Swedish fans who rooted for the hometown fighter, but in the end, respected his efforts against an opponent of such a high caliber, especially on late notice.
His next opponent will be former UFC light heavyweight champion and current top middleweight contender, Lyoto Machida (20-4) in a fight billed as a ‘dream match’. The winner of this bout is expected to have the next shot at middleweight gold after Vitor Belfort takes a crack at champion Chris Weidman this summer.
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