Saturday night in Manchester, England, MMA veteran Gegard Mousasi will be stepping into the Octagon against Vitor Belfort for his 48th professional MMA fight.
Mousasi, who will be entering the fight on a 2-fight win streak that most recently saw him pick up a spectacular KO win over Thiago Santos on the UFC Fight Pass prelims of UFC 200, believes that a win over the #5 ranked Belfort helps him climb the middleweight rankings, but won’t help him get the recognition he deserves.
He spoke on Fight Society:
“It’s going to get me higher (in the rankings) but it’s not going to do anything different for me,” Mousasi told the Fight Society podcast recently. “You have now “Jacare” (Souza) against (Luke) Rockhold, (Chris) Weidman against Yoel Romero so those are guys that can easily fight for the belt. Those guys are ahead of me.
“After beating Vitor, it’s just another guy I have to face. The title shot seems far away for me so I’m not thinking of it but it will come. After this victory, I will be a step closer to that.”
With that being said, Mousasi believes that a fight with former UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva is the next step for him after this fight:
The only one that doesn’t have a fight is Anderson Silva. I would love to fight him. Those are fights, fighting legends, fighting big names. If you can get a win over those guys, it’s on your record and it’s going to stay that way. Those are the fights that make sense. Those are the fights people are going to remember you for if you beat Vitor or Anderson or Dan Henderson, guys like that.
While Mousasi has fought a who’s who of middleweights and light heavyweights throughout the course of his thirteen year professional MMA career, a fight with Silva would certainly give Mousasi the chance to potentially defeat a veteran of the sport.
On the flip side, a fight with Mousasi gives ‘The Spider’ the opportunity to return to the win column in the midst of a 2-fight skid that saw him controversially drop a decision to Michael Bisping, and then drop a unanimous decision to Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 on just 48 hours notice.