UFC on FUEL TV 9 headliner Gegard Mousasi pushes back retirement plan


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

gegard-mousasi-17.jpgGegard Mousasi has decided he needs a little more time to achieve his goals in fighting.

Mousasi (33-3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who meets Alexander Gustafsson (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) next week at UFC on FUEL TV 9, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he’s pushed back his planned retirement from 30 to 35.

“I thought 30 would be enough, but I don’t think it’s going to be,” he said.

The 27-year-old Mousasi always has been ambitious. When he set his planned retirement date, it was January 2010, and he was the Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion. He hadn’t lost in three years and 15 fights. He wanted to win the DREAM light-heavyweight title, move to heavyweight, and meet current UFC 205-pound champion Jon Jones.

One of those things happened.

An April 2010 loss to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal provided him a stark reality check (and took his belt). A draw one year later with Keith Jardine scratched a chance to win it back. Then he tore his ACL and spent all of this past year on the sidelines.

“It was difficult because you have to postpone your goals,” Mousasi said. “You can’t do anything; you’re just waiting. It’s not up to you. It’s difficult, but what can you do? That’s life.”

Mousasi, though, is resilient as well as driven. Despite his injury, the Dutch-Armenian fighter has bounced back from the Jardine fight with three straight wins, and on April 6, he gets a chance to derail the title hopes of redhot prospect Gustafsson, who has won six straight. The pair headlines UFC on FUEL TV 9 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. (The event’s main card airs live on FUEL TV following prelims on Facebook.)

“He was one of the guys I wanted to fight along with (Mauricio) ‘Shogun’ (Rua) and (Lyoto) Machida,” Mousasi said. “Those were exciting matchups that fans would like to see, and they were the No. 1 guys.”

Mousasi could throw the light-heavyweight division for a loop if he manages to beat Gustafsson, who would take a place behind No. 1 contender Machida if successful next week. Current betting lines have Gustafsson a 2-to-1 favorite.

“I’m the underdog, but I don’t care,” Mousasi said. “It’s a fight. Of course, he’s fought a lot more in the UFC, so he’s the favorite. I understand that. I hope (they are overlooking me). They don’t expect anything for me, so I cannot disappoint anybody.

“I like this position much better. I don’t have any pressure.”

In addition to rethinking his time in the sport, Mousasi also has changed the way he trains to maximize his remaining years.

“I think I’m training more professionally,” he said. “Back then, I would just spar. It wasn’t like I was evolving. Now, I have good coaches, and I’m getting better. I’m more confident than I was in the past.”

Confidence is certainly a necessity when you’re chasing a UFC title. An excess of that led him to dreams of a run at heavyweight and even a bid for the 2012 Olympics. But he’s thinking smaller at the moment, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

He still has a chance at meeting Jones.

“This is a big opportunity for me fighting a guy like Gustafsson,” Mousasi said. “I want to take full advantage of that. I always thought I would finish my career in the UFC, and that’s the plan.”

For more on UFC on FUEL TV 9, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 19 days ago
  • 26 views

Gegard Mousasi's manager says his client was in Holland when news broke that UFC 176 had been cancelled, and due to the nine-hour time difference in the U.S., he couldn't reach him to inform him of the news before it made its way online. Gegard Mousasi wasn't too pleased with the fact that he had to rely on social media to discover that his scheduled fight against Ronaldo Souza at UFC 176, which was set to go down on Aug. 2, 2014, was "postponed" due to the cancellation of UFC 176.
"The Dreamcat more

  • 21 days ago
  • 31 views

Gegard Mousasi was not pleased to find out about the UFC 176 cancellation through social media.
Last night the UFC broke the news that UFC 176 was scrubbed from the calendar after failing to find a main event to replace Jose Aldo/Chad Mendes 2. Gegard Mousasi was scheduled to be the co-main event opposite fellow middleweight contender Ronaldo Souza, but that fight along with the rest of the card will be rescheduled across several different UFC shows.
All of this was brand new to Mousasi, who pos more

  • 21 days ago
  • 36 views

Poor guy is always the last to know...
Gegard Mousasi had no idea his fight against Ronaldo Souza was no longer taking place in Los Angeles.
That is, until he went on social media and discovered the promotion had "postponed" its UFC 176 pay-per-view (PPV) event. That means "The Dreamcatcher," by his own account, trained six weeks "for nothing," and took to his official Facebook page (via James Lynch) to put his employer on blast.
Have a look: And the follow up (via Bloody Elbow): The good news i more

  • 21 days ago
  • 39 views

The fight between former Strikeforce champions Ronaldo Souza and Gegard Mousasi that originally was set for the co-main event of UFC 176 now will take place at UFC Fight Night 50. Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC more

  • 21 days ago
  • 47 views

The UFC 176 co-main event bout between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Gegard Mousasi, like several other bouts on the cancelled fight card, has already found a new home, as of Wednesday morning. more

  • 21 days ago
  • 31 views

Zach Makovsky vs. Jussier Formiga and "Jacare" Souza vs. Gegard Mousasi 2 are among several fights that have since been moved from UFC 176 to other cards.
The loss of UFC 176 has proven to be the gain for other upcoming cards. About half of the original lineup has already been redistributed across several August and September cards, most notably the rematch between Ronaldo Souza and Gegard Mousasi, which will either headline or co-headline the UFC Fight Night in Connecticut.
This is the current more

  • 21 days ago
  • 47 views

The UFC's decision to cancel UFC 176 left co-headliner Gegard Mousasi a little frustrated.
Mousasi, who was scheduled to fight Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza on Aug. 2 in Los Angeles, took to Facebook to voice his displeasure with the way yesterday's news broke: On Wednesday, Mousasi's manager Nima Safapour explained his client's stance:
"Zuffa reached out to us in advance shortly before the media became aware that the event was postponed," he said. "However, due to the time zone differences between Hol more

  • 6 days ago
  • 28 views

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Josh Thomson talks about his UFC on FOX 12 fight against Bobby Green, why he decided against retiring, the current state of San Jose MMA, his place in the lightweight division, and more. more

  • 28 days ago
  • 66 views

For the second time in nearly three years, UFC veteran Matt Hamill has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. more