(Can a WAMMA belt be far behind? Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)
Though most casual MMA fans had never heard his name until this year, Gegard Mousasi (24-2-1) made his presence known in a big way during DREAM’s recent middleweight grand prix, cutting through highly regarded fighters Denis Kang, Melvin Manhoef, and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to win the championship. Now he’s widely acknowledged as one of the best middleweights in the world — which is why we were hoping he’d be signed by the UFC to add some extra heat to their 185-pound division, and maybe challenge Anderson Silva for the belt one day. All that shit will have to wait, unfortunately, because it looks like Affliction got to him first. As he told Fighters Only Magazine:
Mousasi is part of the Red Devil International team and he shares a manager with Fedor in the shape of Vadim Finkelstein…
Affliction has yet to reveal a line-up for its January event but Vitor Belfort has told Brazil’s Tatame magazine that he has been contacted and offered a fight.
If Mousasi continues to perform like he has over the last two years, he should have no trouble whipping Belfort, Matt Lindland, and whoever else Affliction has under contract at 185. And now he’s training with Fedor too? Forget about it.
Mousasi’s claim that Emelianenko will skip straight to a fight with Barnett in January — foregoing the Arlovski/Barnett eliminator match altogether — is also interesting, but as with all rumors related to Fedor and fight-booking, we’ll believe it two weeks after it happens.