If true, Mousasi leaves the UFC ranked #4 in their middleweight division. ‘The Dreamcatcher’ could potentially, even realistically, fight for titles in two weight divisions under the Bellator MMA banner. He has fought in both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions throughout his entire 50-fight career, though fighting exclusively at 185-lbs since 2013.
Early on in his career, Mousasi won the Cage Warriors Middleweight Championship, making quick work out of Gregory Bouchelaghem. Less than two years later he traveled to Japan and won the DREAM 2008 Middleweight Grand-Prix, along with the inaugural DREAM Middleweight Championship. That four-fight run in the tournament included wins over Denis Kang, Dong Sik Yoon, Melvin Manhoef, and ‘Jacare’ Souza, the last two wins taking place on the same night.
Less than a year later, Mousasi joined Scott Coker’s Strikeforce promotion and won the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship with a 60-second KO win over Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral. He then went on to defeat Sokoudjou before losing the title by unanimous decision against ‘King Mo’.
He then went back to Japan and won the DREAM 2010 Light Heavyweight Grand-Prix, winning the light heavyweight championship in the process. The road to the title included stoppage victories over Jake O’Brien and Tatsuya Mizuno. He defended the belt against Hiroshi Izumi before returning to Bellator, going 2-0, and signing with the UFC.
Since joining the UFC in 2013, Mousasi has amassed an impressive record of 9-3 with six finishes. This includes wins over former world champions Chris Weidman, Vitor Belfort, and Dan Henderson, all three of which came by way of T/KO.
If he joins the Bellator ranks, potential opposition at middleweight include Kendall Grove, John Salter, Melvin Manhoef, Joe Schilling, Hisaki Kato, Ralek Gracie, Rafael Lovato Jr., and, of course, Middleweight Champion Rafael Carvalho. If he competes in the Bellator light heavyweight ranks, potential opposition includes former rival ‘King Mo’, Liam McGeary, Linton Vassell, Phil Davis, Alessio Sakara, Wanderlei Silva, Chael Sonnen, and newly crowned champion Ryan Bader.
It’s bit of a long shot, but Mousasi has competed against heavyweights in the past, beating Gary Goodridge and Mark Hunt.
All-in-all, this is an absolutely tremendous signing for Scott Coker and Bellator MMA if true. Their middleweight division has never been their strongest, but the addition of Gegard Mousasi could certainly change that. The free-agent signings keep on coming, and Bellator MMA continues to make waves. What a time to be a fan of MMA