Dear MMA Gods | Give Gegard Mousasi his chance to fully cement himself as a legend of the sport

Gegard-Mousasi

At this current moment in time, Bellator’s middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi could very well be considered MMA royalty. But why not make it undeniable? Which leads me to today’s holy proposition to the ever merciless MMA gods.

33-years old and in the prime of his career, Mousasi has been competing professionally since 2003 and had an incredible 53-fight career where he’s gone 45-6-2 and never lost two fights in a row.

Mousasi is currently 10-1 in his last 11 and has finished seven of those wins by KO/TKO as well as avenged the loss.

In his most recent outing this past Saturday at Bellator 206, Mousasi defended his title for the first time in the organization’s biggest fight in their history. His opponent was none other than the welterweight champion, Rory MacDonald.

The fight was expected to be a competitive and incredible showcase of skill and technique, which it was early on but more so in the favor of the middleweight champ. Then came the second round and MacDonald admittedly mentally shut down as he went for an ill-advised Imanari roll for Mousasi’s ankle.

Underneath Mousasi was where MacDonald would find himself and that’s where he would stay until he could no longer withstand the barrage of elbows Mousasi began to rain down upon him.

PhotoCred: MMAJunkie

Mousasi vs MacDonald was awesome, no matter how you slice it. The fact that it was made, how it went down, the idea of it…it was all fun. But as it goes with champion vs champion fights, unless they meet in a catchweight or for some reason agree to a non-title bout, only one champion can become a dual-division champion. And now having kept MacDonald from achieving that very difficult feat, it should soon be Mousasi’s turn to get to try and achieve it himself.

However, some things need to fall in place here for him to get that opportunity and assuming they do, the fight will be even bigger than this past one was.

First of all, prior to and after the fight Mousasi made it clear that he is interested in chasing a second title but first he wants to be a fair champion and defend his title against the undefeated BJJ wizard Rafael Lovato Jr. next then avenge his 2014 loss to Lyoto Machida. That’s assuming that Machida wins his Bellator debut at Bellator 211 in Hawaii.

Getting past those two would be the biggest obstacles that build to Mousasi’s potential cementing of his legend status. Then, of course, we have to discuss who it would come against and what that person is currently up to…which could involve a little bit of history as well.

Mousasi has already accomplished many things in his career and most of which have actually come in the light heavyweight division. For instance, he’s a former Strikeforce and DREAM champion at 205-pounds (was also DREAM middleweight champion).

A majority of Mousasi’s career has been spent at 205-pounds and he’s proven to be just as skilled in that division as he is in his current one. In fact, the Iranian-born Dutchman has actually only lost once at 205-pounds or higher.

PhotoCred: MMAJunkie

Which makes the would-be super fight between him and the current Bellator light heavyweight king Ryan Bader all the more exciting.

Like Mousasi, Bader is currently in the prime of his career and also 10-1 in his last 11. Bader is also in pursuit of beating Mousasi to the punch when it comes to making history as he’s right in the thick of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix which if he wins he will be crowned the heavyweight champion. To do so he’ll have to get through Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko or Chael Sonnen.

Win or lose in the tournament, Bader will still be the 205-pound champ and able to defend against the middleweight champ. But if he wins it all then takes on Mousasi after defending the belt over Lovato and Machida…boy, oh boy. We’re talking some big-time accomplishments colliding here.

The difference between what would make the fight with Bader so much bigger and more of a super fight is quite simple. First off, neither Mousasi or MacDonald had title defenses yet whereas now both Bader and Mousasi do and Mousasi would have to rack up some more before Bader is available to fight. Then obviously, the possibility of Bader being a double champ when he’s defending against Mousasi trying to become a double champ.

It would just be too much goodness for Bellator to possibly pass up on and really, Bader could very well be Mousasi’s last real challenge in Bellator and he’s only just arrived. That’s how good this man has truly become. Bader has too though.

We’ve seen Mousasi struggle in wrestling situations before but he’s improved his defense tremendously over the years and it was on full display against Chris Weidman in 2017 as he did get taken down, but his ability to escape and spring back to his feet was phenomenal and eventually lead to his victory.

As for striking, the technique doesn’t get much better and cleaner than Mousasi. And Bader has really come into his own as a striker as well and his power off of counters is showing more and more nowadays. That accompanied by his size and wrestling presents a very fun challenge for Mousasi.

This is kind of one of those rare cases where the build-up will be so worth it whether we fully realize it yet or not. Because each fighter has some fun things immediately awaiting them only for the most fun of those things to be at the very end of it.

In reality, I suppose this is more of a prayer to Scott Coker than the MMA gods as all we need for this fight to happen is Mousasi to be champion by the time that Bader loses or wins the Grand Prix. Because of that, Mousasi vs Bader gets the highest chance rating to date in the Dear MMA Gods series.

Mousasi vs Bader chance of happening: 85%

Check out the previous Dear MMA Gods here: 1. Can we get an Iron-Highlight one day?, 2. It’s not too late for the WEC super fight, 3. The true time for Affliction is now…, 4. We need to see Cyborg’s toughest test, 5. Let’s see how mighty this mouse really is, 6. Tyron Woodley’s ultimate redemption

 

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/2/2018