This weekend, in the main event of Bellator 206, Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi will attempt to defend his title against the promotion’s welterweight champion Rory MacDonald.
Although Gegard Mousasi will be the bigger, heavier fighter in the cage on Saturday night, he’s not expecting that advantage to play all that much of a role in the fight. Smaller fighters, after all, have defeated larger fighters on many occasions. Mousasi himself is proof of this fact.
“We saw [Georges St-Pierre] versus Michael Bisping, and GSP won,” Mousasi explained in an interview with MMA Fighting. “We saw Daniel Cormier, he went up [to heavyweight], he won. That 10 pounds that I have over Rory is not going to decide if I’m going to win or not. I went to light heavyweight and heavyweight, I was successful there also, so [size] is not going to decide if I’m going to win. I didn’t hesitate to take the fight, but you know people are always — if I beat him easily, people are going to say, ‘You beat a welterweight.’ And that’s not the case. Kelvin Gastelum is a welterweight; he’s fighting at middleweight, he’s doing pretty good, he’s fighting for the belt. So it doesn’t mean anything.”
In Rory MacDonald, Gegard Mousasi sees a well-rounded and dangerous opponent. As such, he’s developed a Plan A, a Plan B, a Plan C and more for this challenge.
The middleweight champion broke down his game plan:
“He’s very well-rounded,” Mousasi said of his opponent. “He’s a lot better, I think, when you face him in the cage. He doesn’t have anything spectacular like spinning back kicks, the crazy stuff like Anderson Silva. But everywhere he’s really solid, on the ground, his jiu-jitsu, wrestling, stand-up. And mentally, he’s tough. He’s physically there. He has the technique and he’s physically, mentally, and technically solid, so he’s solid and he comes to fight. That’s one thing I’ve seen against Robbie Lawler, he comes to fight, he has the mentality, so that makes for a very dangerous opponent. He’s a complete fighter.
“I’m just planning to be the better mixed martial artist. I’m planning to outsmart him. I feel like I have the better stand-up, so I’m going to try to take advantage of that. If I feel like I’m losing in the stand-up, I will try to out-power him. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to try to make a fight out of it. There’s a lot of options that I can take to win the fight, but if I feel like I’m not getting the job done, then I’ll make a fight out of it. Maybe overpower him. There’s a lot of things, but the first plan is the be the better fighter.”
Do you think Gegard Mousasi can thwart Rory MacDonald in the Bellator 206 main event?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/27/2018.