Gegard Mousasi is currently testing the free agent market at 31-years-old and with his intentions made clear on how much more he feels he deserves to be paid, there’s a strong possibility that he could sign elsewhere. If that happens to be the case, it’d be a shame to see the UFC lose another contender to a rival promotion.
The 49 fight total veteran is currently sitting on a five fight win streak, four of which came via stoppage. His last outing was at UFC 210 in a competitive bout against Chris Weidman, which ended in a controversial TKO following knees that were initially deemed illegal, but ruled legal quickly afterwards. The back-and-forth contest was beginning to shift in Mousasi’s favor, but the stoppage caused confusion. The win was the last fight on Mousasi’s UFC contract and while Weidman has gone on record stating he wants to run it back, the UFC appeared to be more interested in setting up Rockhold-Mousasi.
Mousasi could’ve likely either been matched up with Rockhold or Weidman by now if the contract negotiations went his way, but that’s not the case. With Mousasi’s future unclear it’s possible we’ll never see him challenge for UFC gold. It’s a shame since the division could clear up in his favor in the near future.
If one tries to imagine a scenario in which Rockhold and Mousasi met, the odds would favor Rockhold if you consider his grappling ability as well as the size difference between both competitors. Mousasi displayed a struggle in the wrestling defense department against Weidman, but did manage to reverse several positions as Weidman tired. The last time Mousasi faced a high level grappler was in 2014 against Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, which ended in a guillotine submission loss in round 3 for “The Dream Catcher.”
What he lacks in the grappling department, he makes up in the stand up game as he possesses one of the best jabs in MMA. However, Mousasi’s striking was uncharacteristically sloppy the last time we saw him and we’ve seen him get outpointed in the past if he couldn’t manage to get a finish. With Michael Bisping’s career winding down, a fight between the Brit and Mousasi would’ve been a fitting opponent for Bisping’s last hurrah. Hitting the market coming off a finish of a former champion will only do his wallet some good.