Rivalries: Gegard Mousasi

By Brian Knapp Jul 2, 2020

Gegard Mousasi owns one of the sport’s most unique resumes.

The former Dream, Strikeforce, Cage Warriors Fighting Championship and Bellator MMA titleholder debuted as a 17-year-old in April 2003, posted a 28-2-1 record through his first 31 appearances and excelled in multiple weight classes. Mousasi has fought in 12 different countries during his stellar 55-fight career and established a reputation as something of a mercenary while competing in virtually every major promotion on the planet, including Pride Fighting Championships and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A potent and polished mixed martial artist, he has delivered 38 of his 46 professional victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.

As Mousasi awaits the resumption of Bellator’s 2020 campaign, a look at a few of the rivalries that brought him to the masses:

Ronaldo Souza


“Jacare” was the better man in the sequel. The former Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist submitted Mousasi with a third-round guillotine choke in the UFC Fight Night 50 headliner on Sept. 5, 2014 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Mousasi conceded defeat 4:30 into Round 3, as he tapped out for the first time in more than eight years. Souza—who had been knocked out by a Mousasi upkick under the Dream banner in September 2008—dominated the rematch from start to finish. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt tuned up his punches at opportune times and executed takedowns in all three rounds, suffocating Mousasi with oppressive top control. Souza scored with a trip takedown with roughly 90 seconds left in the third frame, caught the choke with Mousasi in a seated position, closed guard and secured the finish.

Uriah Hall


“The Dreamcatcher” made sure lightning did not strike twice for Hall, as he avenged a September 2015 loss to the former Ring of Combat champion and did so in systematic fashion. Mousasi dispatched “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 finalist with first-round punches in their UFC Fight Night 99 main event on Nov. 19, 2016 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Hall wilted 4:37 into Round 1. Mousasi left nothing to chance. He backed up Hall with a stinging jab, steered clear of his spinning attacks and executed a takedown with a little less than 50 seconds remaining in the first round. He then pinned Hall at the base of the cage and controlled his near-side leg and far-side wrist before cutting loose with a burst of right hands that prompted referee Marc Goddard to act.

Rafael Carvalho


Mousasi took care of business and did so with clinical precision, as he stopped Rafael Carvalho with first-round punches to capture the undisputed middleweight championship in the Bellator 200 headliner on May 25, 2018 at the SSE Arena in London. Carvalho succumbed to blows 3:35 into Round 1. The loss was his first since Dec. 17, 2011 and closed the book on a 15-fight winning streak. Mousasi made it look easy, like hot-knife-through-butter easy. He executed multiple takedowns, softened Carvalho with ground-and-pound and climbed to full mount. Unable to escape, the Brazilian surrendered his back and covered up, as Mousasi unleashed right hands until the job was finished.

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