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 >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

After UFC 208 loss, Phillipe Nover announces MMA retirement and return to school

  • 4 days ago
  • 20 views

After suffering his third straight UFC loss, Phillipe Nover has decided to call it quits on his MMA career.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Brock Lesnar Informs UFC of Retirement from MMA, Removed from Drug Testing Pool

  • 6 days ago
  • 4 views

Brock Lesnar's mixed martial arts career appears to be over. A UFC spokesperson on Tuesday told MMA Fighting's Marc Raimondi the former UFC heavyweight champion informed the company of his retirement read news >>

Inside the impressive career facts and figures for UFC 208 co-headliner Anderson Silva

  • 12 days ago
  • 14 views

Former longtime pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva once again returns to the octagon on Saturday when he takes on Derek Brunson in the UFC 208 co-main event. Get a look at his impressive career numb read news >>

Ex-heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar notifies UFC of MMA retirement

  • 6 days ago
  • 3 views

Former heavyweight champ informed UFC on Tuesday that he's officially retiring from competition. read news >>

Ex-heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar notifies UFC of MMA retirement

  • 6 days ago
  • 6 views

Brock Lesnar, a former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE star, informed the UFC that he is retiring from MMA, a UFC official told MMAjunkie tonight.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

The Question: UFC vs. Bellator—Which Has the Momentum in 2017?

  • 4 days ago
  • 6 views

For the UFC, 2017 has gotten off to a wobbly start. Conor McGregor has decided to take some time off and seems more interested in boxing than the UFC, Ronda Rousey was walloped again and vanished, Ni read news >>

Fedor Emelianenko unsurprisingly chill about scrapped Bellator 172 headliner, says it was 'God's plan'

  • a day ago
  • 15 views

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Fedor Emelianenko was his usual stoic self addressing the last-minute cancellation of his Bellator debut after scheduled opponent Matt Mitrione fell ill.Filed under: Bellator, Feat read news >>

After win over 'Zombie,' UFC Fight Night 104's Dennis Bermudez wants interim champ Holloway

  • 18 days ago
  • 7 views

HOUSTON – Dennis Bermudez has a plan in place after Saturday night, and it’s a good one. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Niko Price's plan? Didn't include looking 'like a squirrel holding nuts in my cheeks' at UFC Fight Night 104

  • 14 days ago
  • 18 views

HOUSTON – Niko Price picked up his second stoppage win in as many trips to the octagon at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 104 event, but he was anything but satisfied with his performance.Filed under: Fea read news >>

Medical Issue Forces UFC Fighter Aisling Daly to Announce Retirement | MMAWeekly.com

  • 19 days ago
  • 27 views

Aisling Daly hasn't fought since October of 2015, and she won't be fighting again any time soon. read news >>