Gegard Mousasi is focused on his upcoming bout with Thales Leites, which will co-headline Saturday’s UFC Fight Night in London. However, that focus has not precluded the “Dreamcatcher” from thinking about the future of the UFC middleweight division.
Speaking this week to Sherdog.com, Mousasi discussed his opponent wish list, his thoughts on the state of the 185-pound ranks and his crucial fight against Leites.
“Thales is good both on the ground and standing, besides being a very experienced fighter,” Mousasi said. “I’m coming very well-prepared. The fans can expect a great fight.”
Mousas will attempt to get back on track following an upset knockout loss to Uriah Hall in September. Should he emerge victorious from O2 Arena, the 30-year-old Dutchman has a few names in mind for his next bout, including a possible rematch from February 2014.
“There are a couple fighters I would like to face: a rematch with Lyoto [Machida] would be great, or [Michael] Bisping,” said Mousasi. “I would also love to fight Anderson [Silva] and [Vitor] Belfort.”
Anderson Silva and Michael Bisping will square off in London directly after Mousasi’s bout on Saturday. The former Strikeforce champ believes Silva holds the advantage over Bisping, though Mousasi believes Bisping has a path to victory, too.
“Anderson has the advantage in the standup fight,” he explained. “Bisping will have to keep the pressure on all the time. That’s the best way to beat Anderson.”
Mousasi also picked reigning champion Luke Rockhold to defend the UFC middleweight belt in his as-yet-unscheduled rematch against ex-titleholder Chris Weidman.
“Considering the last performance from Rockhold, I believe he will win once again,” said Mousasi.
Another pivotal middleweight matchup will take place in May at UFC 198, where Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will face Vitor Belfort. Mousasi feels that Souza will emerge as the top contender.
“Jacare is the one who most deserves the title shot,” said Mousasi. “I believe he will beat Belfort and finally get his chance. Of course, Anderson may cross the line due to his popularity, but no doubt Jacare is the one who most deserves this chance right now.”