With legendary middleweight Anderson Silva potentially having his last UFC bout on Saturday, Gegard Mousasi was asked to reflect on the decorated career of “The Spider.”
“He had a great career. I think in his prime he looked unbeateable,” Mousasi said during a virtual media day for Bellator 250. “He provided a lot of memorable fights. He’s definitely a legend in the sport. Maybe continued a little bit longer than he should, tarnished his legacy just at the end. In his prime — that’s what people are going to remember him as — definitely one of the greatest.”
While Silva, who is currently 45 years old, has indicated that UFC Fight Night 181 might not be the end of the line if he gets his way, the 35-year-old Mousasi doesn’t plan on following in the Brazilian’s footsteps in terms of longevity.
“At this moment I feel great. To be honest, in training I was better than ever,” said Mousasi, who will face Douglas Lima for the vacant middleweight title in the Bellator 250 main event on Thursday. “If I keep win-lose, win-lose, that’s a sign that you’re not what you think you are. I think I’ve lost one in my last 10 fights.
“After this year, two more years, that’s gonna be certain. After that I’ll have to look at the body, I’ll have to look at the results and then we decide if we’ll continue maybe another year. But I’m not gonna continue until 40, that’s one thing for sure.”
As he said, Mousasi is currently doing quite well, with a narrow majority decision loss to Rafael Lovato Jr. the only blemish on his ledger since 2016. In Lima, he’ll face perhaps the most accomplished welterweight in Bellator history.
“He had a whole year to grow into his frame. He’s been dominant; he avenged his two loses so I think his confidence is very high,” Mousasi said. “Overall, I think his mental [game] is the most dangerous about him. Of course his low kicks and his punches are [dangerous too]. I’m well prepared. A little bit worried, but that’s good. It keeps me sharp.”
A former 205-pound champion in Strikeforce, Mousasi wouldn’t mind making a run at becoming a two-division champion in Bellator in the future. For now, though, he sees himself having several more fights at middlweight.
“After this, it’s John Salter first. Then I’m all open for it,” he said. “I don’t have the desire to be double-champ. It’s not a goal of mine. But it’s an accomplishment that would be nice to finish. To be honest, I’d rather have it a little bit later, after two or three more fights at middleweight. We’ll see what the promotion thinks. I’m open to it.”
Mousasi also has another goal before he calls it a career, though even he admits it might be a little farfetched.
“Maybe a boxing fight, but I don’t know how realistic that is,” he said. “I think if I want to do that I have to have great performances in the next couple fights, maybe just for fun to do that. I always grew up with boxing and that was my dream to be a boxing champion. Maybe a fun fight, I’m open to that.”
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