For Gegard Mousasi, it’s finally his moment.
Mousasi has arrived in the UFC, fighting in the main event of a UFC show, taking on a household name in MMA.
Can Mousasi, the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion come through? Or will he be just another Strikeforce guy who got clobbered in his big moment?
Mousasi fights Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night tonight and if he wins, he’ll silence the doubters, and jump into the title mix. If he loses cleanly, he’s just another Colin Kaepernick — a guy with a lot of promise who blew it when it mattered.
We’ll never know what would have happened had Mousasi entered the cage against Alexander Gustafsson, as he was supposed to a year ago. Gustafsson cut his eye and was forced out of the fight. Mousasi could have changed 2013 for Gustafsson, Jon Jones and the UFC.
When trying to pick a winner, here are some things to thing about:
- Mousasi has never been knocked out in 39 MMA fights.
- Mousasi is undefeated as a kickboxer, 8-0.
- He was 12-1 as an amateur boxer, and the former Netherlands champion.
- Mousasi has 15 more MMA fights than Machida.
- Mousasi claims he’s never been hurt in a fight or in training and that he always knows how to protect his face.
- Mousasi was born in Iran to Armenian parents and his family moved to Holland when he was a boy. Mousasi’s father took Gegard to a judo class when he was 8. Mousasi now has a black belt in judo.
- Mousasi is 28; Machida is 35.
- From 2006 to 2009, Mousasi was undefeated and won 15 consecutive fights.
- Mousasi has won six fights and has not lost since 2010.
- And that rising star on the undercard, Jacara Souza, was once knocked cold by a Gegard Mousasi upkick during a DREAM card.
Tonight is Mousasi’s night. If he can beat Machida, the haters will stop hating. If he loses badly, he’ll be just another UFC middleweight.