Jacare vs. Mousasi 2 is a grudge match seperated by six years and two MMA organizations. The last time the two met was in Dream 6 in 2008, where Gegard Mousasi (35-4-2) handed Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (20-3) one of only three losses of his MMA career. Jacare tried to lay the punishment on Gegard Mousasi only to to be met with an upkick that put his lights out. Jacare would love for nothing more than to take a victory in the prospect for middleweight title contention. Between “The Alligator” and “The Armenian Assassin,” who will stand out in the middleweight division?
With fourteen career MMA submissions, it’s no wonder they call him “alligator.” His Black Belt in Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu have provided him with great success in his career, and especially his latest six-fight winning streak. Submissions and grappling are his greatest strengths, but he also has two knock out victories against Derek Brunson and Yushin Okami by punches. Mousasi can’t count that part of Jacare’s game out if he wants to be victorious. Jacare overwhelmed Mousasi with a fantastic takedown in their first matchup, but he has to be ready to start over from the ground if he gets in a bad position. Once Mousasi created distance between them from his back, Jacare should have started from square one and taken his time rather than jump back straight in for the ground and pound. He should be patient on the takedown attempts and be ready for Mousasi’s strong striking game.
“The Armenian Assassin” Mousasi is a Dream and Strikeforce veteran. Even though Jacare is known as the better grappler of the two, Mousasi has a black belt in Judo and is no slouch when it comes to the ground game. He became the first fighter to submit Mark Munoz in the first round of UFC Fight Night 41, so he can dish out submission punishment as well. His kickboxing experience is reflected in his professional record of 8-0, and will prove to be an effective advantage over Jacare. What stands as most amazing about Mousasi is the amount of experience he’s gained at just 29 years of age. His records stand in MMA at 35-4-2, Pro kickboxing- 8-0, and an amateur boxing record of 12-1. Mousasi boasts a game that is very well rounded and he’s demonstrated over the course of his seasoned career that he can win regardless of his opponent’s strength or situation.
They say it about every fight, but the best thing about the UFC main card matchup will be that everything can and will happen. Jacare has a record-proven edge in submissions, but also has strong knockout power in his punches. He was able to shoot and take down Mousasi in their first matchup, but Mousasi turned the ground game around on “the Alligator” with an upkick knockout. Mousasi will have an edge in striking and in keeping Jacare at a distance with his kickboxing expertise. If he can be sure not to get his legs caught by Jacare, his long strikes will prove very effective.