Sokoudjou Camp Weighs Mousasi Bout

By Loretta Hunt Mar 27, 2009
Word that Dream middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi will face Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in a light heavyweight tilt for Dream 9 in May was news to the Team Quest fighter’s management and camp on Friday. was the first to report the 205-pound bout as finalized on Friday, but later updated its report to state that the matchup is tentative.

“It’s possible, but we really haven’t talked about it with Dream yet,” said the Team Quest rep Heath Sims. “We’ve talked about fighting, but we’ve [also] talked about fighting other opponents.”

Sims said logistics, such as purses and a date for the event, have not been discussed. Mousasi and others were suggested in a proposed matchup against the athletic Cameroon fighter for Dream 7 on March 8 in Japan, but talks never went further, said Sims.

After a meteoric start in the sport in 2007, Sokoudjou (5-4) has stumbled in the last three of his four bouts, which included a second-round submission loss to Renato “Babalu” Sobral at Affliction 2 last January.

A victory over the 23-year-old Mousasi (24-2-1) -- who bested Dong Sik Yoon, Melvin Manhoef, and Ronald “Jacare” Souza to grasp Dream’s middleweight crown last September -- would go a long way in rebounding the 2001 US Open Judo Championships winner’s ailing career.

“It’s a big fight and it’s a tough guy,” said Sims. “Thierry’s really looking to re-build his career, so I’m not sure that’s a fight we really want to take at this point,” said Sims.

Mousasi,’s No. 3 ranked middleweight, voiced his intentions to move up a division and relinquish his crown in January, after a potential bout with Japanese favorite Yoshihiro Akiyama never materialized.

“That didn’t happen, so for me it was like, ‘OK, I did what I wanted to at middleweight. Now I go up a division,’” Mousasi said in an exclusive interview with in January.

Mousasi told earlier this week via email that he’s still aiming to make his U.S. debut for Affliction Entertainment in July, although the promotion has yet to nail down a date or venue for its anticipated third event. The world’s No. 1 heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko, is expected to take on top-5 challenger Josh Barnett in the main event.

Sokoudjou, who turns 25 on April 18, has two fights remaining on his North American-exclusive contract with Affliction as well.
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