Gegard Mousasi says winning the Dream light heavyweight belt this Saturday would push him closer towards a shot at reclaiming the Strikeforce 205-pound belt.
"I feel like if I win this belt," Mousasi told reporters Thursday. "It will give me the right to also fight for the Strikeforce belt and winning both belts; I think in Japan and U.S. is an accomplishment that I've always wanted."
Besides the rare feat of holding titles in separate major promotions, the 25-year-old Dutch-Armenian would fully establish himself as an important figure in the historical sense down the line for the Dream organization.
Already staking a claim to being the first DREAM middleweight titleholder, he'd be the first-ever DREAM light heavyweight champion as well if he's successful at Dream.16 against Tatsuya Mizuno.
At 8-5 overall in MMA, Mizuno doesn't hold an impressive record, but he's currently at the height of his career, riding a three-fight win streak and coming off a victory over Melvin Manhoef under the recent guidance of Matt Hume in Seattle. Talking to reporters, Mousasi spoke of Mizuno's advantages as having a lot of heart and described Mizuno as "like a locomotive" for his persistent activity in a fight.
In July, Mousasi (29-3-1) advanced to the finals of this Dream light heavyweight Grand Prix with a 31-second guillotine choke victory over UFC veteran Jake O'Brien at Dream.15. Mousasi had just lost his Strikeforce belt to Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal in a fight that highlighted Mousasi's wrestling deficiency against high level grapplers.
To close the gap, Mousasi says he's been training wrestling twice a week at an all-wrestling gym in Amsterdam in addition to his training with teammates at Team Jurojin. He'll also not rely on his standup against Mizuno.
"I'm working a lot on my wrestling so I'm going to fight like it's an MMA fight," Mousasi said. "I'm not just going to try to fight standup. Takedown, takedown defense, standup, everything."
If he keeps winning, Mousasi will surely keep his name in the Strikeforce running in hopes of once again holding the Strikeforce belt, currently held by Rafael "Feijão" Cavalcante. And if he accomplishes that, maybe he'll attempt another lofty goal, his long-talked-about plan to move up to the heavyweight division, but as Mousasi put it Thursday, that won't be for another "two, maybe three years."
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