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Now That Gegard Mousasi Has “Arrived,” Where Can He Go?


(Wait for the very end to hear this bit of subtle teamwork.
Gus Johnson: "The Armenian…"
Mauro Ranallo: "Assassin."
Gus Johnson: "Assassin!")

If there was any lingering doubt as to whether Gegard Mousasi is indeed a bad, bad man, last night’s efficient destruction of #6-ranked light heavyweight Renato “Babalu” Sobral should have put the issue to rest.  Mousasi is hell on wheels as a light heavyweight.  Trouble is, he just beat the best 205-pounder Strikeforce has, and he didn’t even mess up his tussled coiffeur in the process.  So now what?

Strikeforce hasn’t really focused much on the light heavyweight division in the past.  Maybe that’s because eight of the top ten fighters in the division are under contract to the UFC, so trying to build a division on the strength of Kevin Randleman, Mike Whitehead, and Bobby Southworth is an idea that’s doomed to a certain level of mediocrity right from the start.  But with Mousasi proving that he’s so far ahead of the number one fighter in Strikeforce’s stable at that weight, they have a dilemma on their hands.  Hate to say we told you so (nah, we really love it).
 

Nobody is going to get too excited about seeing Mousasi against a guy like Whitehead (who Sobral has already beaten), just like they won’t care to see him beat up Randleman (who Whitehead just beat).  They need a legitimate challenge for him, and right now the only guys who fit that bill outside the UFC are Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and “King Mo” Lawal, both of whom seem like they could offer more in the way of novelty than a real test of Mousasi’s skills.

Of course, there are some other fighters over in Japan who might be able to make a show of it, but since that’s where Mousasi just came from it really doesn’t help much.  Strikeforce’s fighter exchange deal with Dream isn’t going to add a lot to this situation because Mousasi has already beaten everyone from Melvin Manhoef to Mark Hunt over there.  

It would be great if Strikeforce could sculpt a brand new light heavyweight contender out of clay or force one of their heavyweights to drop down, but looking at their roster right now there’s just no one who seems like they could give Mousasi a serious challenge.  It’s almost as if he’s cleaned out the division after winning one fight.  

Either Strikeforce needs to make a few new acquisitions to beef up the 205-pound class, or else Mousasi’s considerable talent is going to be wasted in sporadic, non-competitive title defenses sandwiched in between Super Hulk bouts.  If you’ve been watching this guy at all, we don’t have to tell you what a shame that would be.

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MyFightWiffaCheeto- August 17, 2009 at 9:16 am
@ohiostate1016

If your huge name is King Mo, he won't be able to give Mousasi a fight. I love King Mo as much as the next guy, he's one of my guilty pleasure fighters right now, but he's far too green to get in a cage with Mousasi.

So take your "inside info" and shove it up your ass.
Swedish- August 17, 2009 at 7:57 am
This very bad news for SF. I predict they will fold by Jan 2010. Why?

a) Gina was exposed and nobody wants to see a shemale in action
b) Babalu got destroyed and exposed. He was also one of their few "stars", mainly inflated by anti UFC sites like CP
c) Nick Diaz doesn't care about SF
Warcraft- August 16, 2009 at 9:52 pm
Assassin!

I like how to stopped to admire hes KO and didn't keep beating the crap out of poor Babalu. A work of Art.
ihateemo- August 16, 2009 at 8:20 pm
Man, that was brutal and incredibly satisfying to watch. After what Sobral did to David Heath in his last UFC fight I have ALWAYS rooted for him to be rendered unconscious.

Thanks Gegard, you just made my weekend.
Endocat- August 16, 2009 at 8:01 pm
my belt holds my pants up better than machida's OR babalu's
Dubbayoo- August 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm
Machida's belt > Babalu's old belt

ohiostate1016- August 16, 2009 at 6:36 pm
@Jay Smith - I'm not here to drop names...what I know is confidential at this time until Strikeforce announces it. I work for a smaller org where this fighter made his name. People know who I am and I'd lose my insider info if I said the name. Just trust me.

@FreddyFangers - I don't use cagepotato as my outlet. I just responded to the story. There WILL be somebody in Strikeforce to give Mousasi a fight. That's all I was saying.
NECROPHYTE- August 16, 2009 at 6:20 pm
Mousasi is cold blooded and has been for a while. Once Stikeforce closes shop Mousasi will get picked up by the UFC. And Ohio State sux UT's cock forever.
Dubbayoo- August 16, 2009 at 4:53 pm
Gus Johnson: We always finish..
Mauro Ranallo: Each other's sentences.
Gus Johnson: EACH OTHER'S SENTENCES!!

Be easy on Gus. He's like Brock, learning on the job. He must be very busy, because it seems like he only watches MMA fights that he's paid to call. It's the only possible explanation for his Kimbo/Rocky analogy.
Dubbayoo- August 16, 2009 at 4:50 pm
Red Devil Sport Club Policy:
1) Establish dominance in your weight class
2) Ride out the rest of your career fighting cans
Socal Tot- August 16, 2009 at 4:45 pm
Does anybody else notice how the real killers in this sport are totally humble and look completely relaxed before the fight? Very few have this quality. This guy is special.
Jay Smith- August 16, 2009 at 3:47 pm
@ ohiostate1016
I hope you know how ridiculous you sound. You don't "know" shit or, you would have dropped a name.
Gegard impressed me, but I agree with everyone else, there isn't any real competition for him where he's at.
LAS- August 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm
How the shit did you guys have Babalu ranked as your #6 LHW, when his biggest win in the last 2 1/2 years is over Sokodjou, who is a submission waiting to happen? Jesus Christ, whatever you think about Jardine, in that same span he has wins over Brandon Vera and Chuck Liddell, and he took Rampage 3 hard rounds.
Anonymous- August 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm
Lil Nog would be a novelty???

Sheeeeeeeeiiiiiiit.
PurplePickle- August 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm
A Five Oz of Pain story states that he is a M1 signed fighter.

AussieMMA- August 16, 2009 at 2:32 pm
@right hand crazy
he has been hanging with Fedor to much and has obviously adopted his "i just woke up, but ill destroy u for fun" pre fight entrance...

As for beating Lyoto, id say he'd have a pretty good shot!
Jonny5- August 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm
so during the liveblog J5 posts
Jonny5 Says:
Sat, 08/15/2009 - 20:41
Mousasi has arrived!
now the following day Bens make a post titled Now That Gegard Mousasi Has "Arrived," Where Can He Go?

I been lurking on this site since day 1 literally and my complete lack of wit and humor have kept me t-shirt less the whole time. How about sending me a t-shirt now? DO IT!
greenseed- August 16, 2009 at 1:44 pm
i believe Gegard has 2 or so fights left with DREAM. pretty sure hes not signed with SF. just a part of their agreement to share fighters.
ohiostate1016- August 16, 2009 at 1:20 pm
Let's just say that I happen to know that Strikeforce is about to announce the signing of a very exciting light heavyweight to give Mousasi a challenge. And no, his name is not Nogueira, Arona, and he's not even Japanese. Stay tuned.
mmmiles9000- August 16, 2009 at 1:20 pm
Um, the fact that he or anyone has signed with the EA game is totally irrelevant. If the UFC could get Mousasi or Fedor to sign, the fact that they are in the EA game is of no important to the UFC. It's pennies on the dollar compared to good PPV cards.
FreddyFangers- August 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm
@dude
- He mentioned the UFC after Affliction folded... i think it was more out of anger since at the time he thought the fight with Babalu was scrapped.
FreddyFangers- August 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm
I dont think anyone that has paid attention to MMA outside of the UFC was surprised by Mousasi's dominance. Babalu is still a good fighter( middle of the pack LHW) but not on his level by any means. UFC will not get Mousasi for a while. He has already stated that he is young and wants to fight as much as possible while he can, which Strikeforce can make happen with their alliance with Dream and flexible contracts. The UFC would lock him in for 3 fights a year max if they had him.
dude- August 16, 2009 at 12:29 pm
Mousasi mentioned interest in the UFC not too long ago. It'd be awesome to see him fight there. I wonder how many fights he has left in his Strikeforce contract?
Jonny5- August 16, 2009 at 12:08 pm
Ok I once again am baffled by the "PotatoPower" rankings. Babalu top ten @ LHW? Really?? B4 this fight IMO the only non-UFC LHW in anyones top ten should of been Lil'Nog. Anyways I'm sure even the "PotatoPower" will drop him from any top ten list after that showing.
PurplePickle- August 16, 2009 at 12:08 pm
@Gamecock
That's the first question I had. What does his StrikeForce contract look like, and when can the UFC sign him?
As for the EA game, Dana tried to sign Fedor and then sucked face with Tito, so I don't think he minds doing the opposite of what he has said in one of his rants.

@TheRealKadumel
I bet Babalu won't view The 4th of July, KISS concerts, or Chinatown in the same way after his entrance last night.
CagePotatoMMA