Gegard Mousasi calls for No. 1 contender fight with Vitor Belfort at UFC 168
By Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA on Jul 20 2013, 12:00a 109
Gegard Mousasi isn't giving up on his quest to fight Vitor Belfort, as the Dutchman recently explained why a match up with "The Phenom" makes sense for UFC 168 on Dec. 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Despite the fact Vitor Belfort has brushed off the idea of fighting Gegard Mousasi, "The Dreamcatcher" isn't going away easy and continues to campaign for a fight with the No. 2 ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender.
Mousasi first brought up the idea of fighting "The Phenom" a few months back when he officially committed to making a return to 185 pounds after spending the most recent years of his career as a light heavyweight.
The former Strikeforce champion brought up Belfort as an ideal opponent for his return to the cage once he recovers from knee surgery; however, the Brazilian has brushed it off and admitted the potential match up doesn't exactly tickle his fancy.
That doesn't discourage Mousasi, though, as he feels a fight between himself and Belfort on the year-end UFC 168 fight card (headlined by a middleweight championship contest of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva) makes all the sense in the world to determine the next No. 1 contender in the weight class.
Here's how he explained the situation to Brazilian news outlet TATAME (translation via MMA.tv):
"The reality is this - Silva vs Weidman II is going to have to happen first on December 28th...Vitor has to wait for a title shot no matter what. I know the UFC wants to see this fight happen as they offered it to me for UFC Belo Horizonte in September. I could not take the fight because I just had surgery. So, it is inevitable that Vitor and I are going to have to meet first to determine who the #1 contender is. So my opinion is that we should also fight on December 28th on the same card as Anderson v. Weidman II to determine the #1 contender spot for the UFC middleweight title.
"It is as simple as this. Vitor and I were supposed to fight in the past for both Affliction and now the UFC. Vitor knows that it is inevitable that we are going to have to meet in the Octagon."
It's hard to deny Mousasi isn't on to something here. The chances of Belfort sitting on the sidelines and waiting for the Weidman-Silva winner are slim-to-none, so taking a fight in the interim makes a lot of sense and Mousasi is the most appealing option at this time.
Of the top-10 UFC middleweight fighters, only three (Constantinos Philippou, Luke Rockhold, Tim Boetsch) are currently without a fight and aside from possibility Philippou, none of those match ups are particularly exciting for Belfort.
Mousasi has to worry about getting himself healthy before he can officially move forward with plans for his next fight, but if everything goes as he hopes and he can get Belfort as an opponent, it would make for a spectacular addition to the UFC 168 card on Dec. 28, 2013.