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

John Makdessi Replaces Injured Khabib Nurmagomedov, Faces Donald Cerrone at UFC 187

  • 22 days ago
  • 5 views

With Khabib Nurmagomedov out of UFC 187 due to a knee injury, John “The Bull” Makdessi has stepped up to face Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone on the May 23 fight card in Las Vegas. read news >>

Khabib Nurmagomedov to Have Surgery on Injured Knee, Out Four to Six Months

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 views

Second-ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov is going to require surgery on the injured knee that forced him out of his UFC 187 bout against Donald Cerrone. read news >>

Jacare Souza Has Knee Surgery, Looks for September UFC Return

  • 2 days ago
  • 0 views

Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza had successful surgery on an injured knee last Wednesday, according to a report from "UFC Tonight." read news >>

UFC 187: Injured Khabib Nurmagomedov out of bout with Donald Cerrone

  • 23 days ago
  • 21 views

According to a report by MMA Junkie, the UFC lightweight contender has been forced out of his UFC 187 bout, possibly with a knee injury. More bad news fight fans. UFC 187 has just lost another marque read news >>

Makdessi on lawsuit, Mousasi: 'I never benefitted from Fear the Fighter'

  • 23 days ago
  • 7 views

Lawyers representing UFC middleweight Gegard Mousasi claim UFC lightweight John Makdessi and the apparel company Fear the Fighter owe him $25,800, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by MMAju read news >>

Knee Injury Forces Bellator 138 Featherweight Championship Change

  • 24 days ago
  • 0 views

Bellator featherweight title challenger Georgi Karakhanyan suffered a knee injury that has forced him out of his title bid against Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. read news >>

Daniel Weichel replaces injured Georgi Karakhanyan, meets champion ‘Pitbull’ Freire at Bellator 138

  • 24 days ago
  • 0 views

Patricio Freire has a new opponent for Bellator 138. Georgi Karakhanyan, slated to meet the featherweight champion on June 19, has suffered a torn ACL and is out of the Bellator 138 co-main event. So read news >>

Francisco Trinaldo replaces injured Gilbert Burns at UFC Fight Night 67

  • 24 days ago
  • 0 views

Francisco Trinaldo has replaced injured Gilbert Burns and now meets fellow lightweight Norman Parke next month at UFC Fight Night 67.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

Gilbert Burns injured, out of UFC Fight Night 67 bout with Norman Parke

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Gilbert Burns is out of UFC Fight Night 67. The undefeated grappler, who improved to 3-0 in the UFC with a win over Alex Oliveira in March, was forced out of the lightweight bout with Norman Parke in read news >>