Gegard Mousasi - StrikeforceIlir Latifi entered the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday night to the sounds of the infamous “Eye of the Tiger” in hopes of pulling off his own Rocky-esque upset.  Alas, the late replacement and hometown favorite was no match for Gegard Mousasi in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 9.

Both Mousasi and Latifi made their promotional debuts in Stockholm, but took wildly different career paths to the main event.  Mousasi cut his teeth fighting for the largest promotions in the world – including holding the Strikeforce championship – making a name for himself as a well-rounded kickboxing standout with an impressive 33-3-2 record, while Latifi was a 6-2 training partner of original main event combatant Alexander Gustafsson.

Round one saw Mousasi establish a probing jab that stymied Latifi’s rhythm and voided his takedown attempts.  With his crisp jab and focused accuracy, Mousasi employed his strategy without apology.

“I knew he was wrestler so I didn’t want him to close the distance,” said Mousasi following the unanimous decision victory. “Some people call it lay and pray, so maybe I did that in the stand-up.”

With Mousasi originally slated to square off against one of the best strikers in the light heavyweight division in Gustafsson, a match with Latifi was widely considered a lose/lose proposition.  As the rounds wore on, Latifi did his best to conjure up a spirited performance – managing a few powerful hooks in the second round and scoring a late takedown in the third – but by the end of the fight, he was bloodied, beaten and unanimously defeated.

Defeated, but not broken.  After all, he was able to withstand 15 minutes in the Octagon with an opponent who severely outclassed him on paper and a fight that saw him billed as one of the largest betting underdogs in MMA history.

A stoic Mousasi explained that his lack of finishing ability might have been a product of problems suffered in training during the lead-up to the fight.

“I was injured coming into this fight. And the last week I also got a cold, so I didn’t go berserk,” he stated.

“I thought I had the advantage striking-wise, so I took advantage of it.”

Unfortunately for Mousasi, this fight doesn’t really serve as an accurate barometer of where he fits among the UFC’s light heavyweight division, and it did little to quell any of the detractors who say he has faced less-than-stellar competition during his storied career.

Conversely, for Latifi this fight showcased that the young lion – having withstood 15 minutes with one of the top-ranked fighters in the world – might actually be worthy of a roster spot in the world’s premier fighting organization.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC Fight Night 75's Gegard Mousasi ready for title run: 'I don't see myself losing again'

  • 13 days ago

TOKYO – Gegard Mousasi says he’s ready to display his full potential to the world in his 45th professional fight – and he believes he might just never lose again.Filed under: Featured, Featured Video read news >>

UFC Fight Night 75: Gegard Mousasi eyes Vitor Belfort, Anderson Silva fights with win over Uriah Hall in Japan

  • 14 days ago

Winner of two in a row -- including a first-round knockout over Dan Henderson -- Gegard Mousasi strongly believes he's close to a shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title. read news >>

Three Amigos Podcast: Gegard Mousasi's street fight story & Kendall Grove rips NAC

  • 14 days ago

The Three Amigos are back with another episode featuring Gegard Mousasi and Kendall Grove discussing everything from street fights to the Nevada Athletic Commission in a "Can't Miss" show. After fina read news >>

UFC Fight Night 75: Gegard Mousasi's Quest to Get over the Hump

  • 15 days ago

Saitama Super Arena is MMA's answer to Lambeau Field. It's more than famous. It's more than historic. It's venerable. No one has to tell Gegard Mousasi this. He's gone to battle six times in the lege read news >>

Elias Theodorou: Twitter beef squashed when Uriah Hall agreed to fight Gegard Mousasi

  • 15 days ago

A quick glance at the MMA Twitter beef repository indicates the social media squabble between UFC middleweights Elias Theodorou and Uriah Hall has moved from active to squashed ahead of UFC Fight Nig read news >>

UFC Fight Night 75 fight card: Gegard Mousasi vs Uriah Hall full fight preview

  • 15 days ago

Gegard Mousasi and Uriah Hall will throw down this Saturday (Sept. 26, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 75 inside Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. In a match up of talented strikers, what adjustments m read news >>

Gegard Mousasi: Nick Diaz 5-Year Suspension 'Way Too Harsh'

  • 15 days ago

Add another name to the list of prominent MMA fighters who believe Nick Diaz's suspension to be excessive. Middleweight Gegard Mousasi, who faces Uriah Hall Saturday in the co-main event of UFC Fight read news >>

Mousasi Welcomes His Return to Japan

  • 15 days ago

Gegard Mousasi may be nearly six thousand miles from his home in Leiden, but when he steps into the Octagon at Saitama Super Arena on Saturday to face Uriah Hall, it’s as close to a home game as read news >>

Kamuela Kirk replaces injured Isaac Vallie-Flagg against Estevan Payan at WSOF 23

  • 23 days ago

Strikeforce and UFC veteran Isaac Vallie-Flagg suffered an elbow injury which has forced him out of his WSOF 23 preliminary bout with Estavan Payan.Filed under: News, WSOF read news >>

Edgar: White said I'm in if Aldo or McGregor get injured, 'you can print that in bold'

  • 24 days ago

Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has been patiently – and sometimes impatiently – biding his time waiting for a second shot at the promotion’s featherweight belt.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>