Gegard Mousasi is arguably the biggest name to make the jump from the UFC to Bellator in free agency. After deciding to make the switch in July of 2017, signing a six-fight contract with the Viacom-owned company.
While Mousasi was one of the better middleweights in the UFC, going to Bellator, it felt like the 33-year-old was certainly destined to become champion. That ultimately proved to be the case, as Mousasi had one fight in Bellator before getting a title shot against Rafael Carvalho, in which Mousasi won the fight and was thus crowned Bellator middleweight champion.
With Mousasi’s super-fight against current Welterweight champion Rory MacDonald upcoming in two weeks, Mousasi was on a media call where he reiterated why he signed with Bellator.
“Bellator is growing, no doubt about it,” Mousasi said in a media call to promote his upcoming fight. “I think the last couple of years, I was fighting at Bellator 200, I got the opportunity to fight in the main event. Now fighting Rory (MacDonald) in a super-fight for DAZN. I got to fight for the belt. These opportunities that I get now, I wouldn’t have gotten it if I was in the UFC. So I’m very thankful they have trust in me, so I just have to do my job and put on good fights and win.”
While Mousasi is getting his first super-fight of his career, the middleweight champion was asked about the UFC, and Mousasi was quick to give his two cents.
“I feel the UFC is declining because they’re putting on bad cards, the main events are not that intriguing,” Mousasi said about his former employer. “We have a lot of big names fighting now in Bellator. You have Quinton (Jackson) vs. Wanderlei (Silva), that’s a super-fight on its own, obviously (Lyoto) Machida is now here. Ryan Bader. You have Matt Mitrione, you have so many big names. I think because of my long career, I’m now where I should be and I’m taking every chance I get to fight for the big fights.”
Fighting a big fight is exactly what Mousasi is doing on Sept. 29. While the fight will be an interesting matchup for Mousasi, another intriguing fight would be a fight against UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker to see who is the best middleweight in the world. However, Mousasi doesn’t seem to care at all for the fight.
“I’m not chasing that title,” he added. “I really don’t care about that. All I care is on the 29th I have to be the best middleweight, and then 30th of September somebody else can be the best middleweight. For me, the goal is to be the best on the 29th. It’s all about matchups. If I would fight Whittaker, I think the guy who has the good standup skills can defeat him, so I don’t care about being the best or not. On the 29th, I need to be the best.”
What do you make of Gegard Mousasi’s comments?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/19/2018.