(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).
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.