Mousasi would not let the long-awaited opportunity to fight Belfort go to waste. After a dominant first round, the Dutchman sealed the deal in the second, securing full mount and unleashing a meteor shower of ground and pound for a nice, TKO win.
The win reaffirmed Mousasi’s status as one of the game’s very best middleweights. Despite this irrefutable status, however, he remains rather unappreciated among fans and pundits alike.
At the UFC 204 post-fight press conference, Mousasi weighed in on the lack of appreciation he receives.
“I think I’m underrated throughout my whole career,” Mousasi said in the wake of his defeat of Belfort. “I don’t know, maybe I’m from Holland and people don’t care. I don’t know, maybe I’ll throw bottles on someone’s head, and people are going to start noticing me.”
Mousasi’s bottle-throwing comment, of course, is a reference to an infamous encounter between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz in the build up to August’s UFC 202. As Mousasi later elaborated, he feels he’d get more respect from the fight community if he put forth the same kind of bravado as McGregor and boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather.
“McGregor is good for the sport, but uhh. But what is it?” Mousasi said. “You had Muhammad Ali, who was a hero, a great boxer. He did a lot, did big things. But now you have [Floyd] Mayweather and Conor McGregor [saying] ‘I have money! I have money!’ and everybody loves it! I don’t know. That sells. People are stupid. What can I say?”
“[The fans] don’t know who’s the real fighter or not,” Mousasi continued. “They just like to see expensive stuff on Instagram or something. I don’t know.”
Despite his disappointment with his lack of popularity, Mousasi says he’s certain he’ll eventually earn himself the UFC middleweight title – especially now that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is levelling the UFC playing field.
“My turn will come. My turn will come,” Mousasi said. “Either they give me an easy fight – Uriah Hall – or tough fights, one of those top 4 guys.”
“I’ll be champion now with USADA.”
Do you think Gegard Mousasi deserves to be more popular? Sound off, PENN nation!