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Gegard Mousasi Turns 24, Trains With Freddie Roach

If Josh Barnett hadn't failed a drug test, Gegard Mousasi would be celebrating his 24th birthday by fighting Renato "Babalu" Sobral at Affliction Trilogy. Instead, his fight has been pushed back two weeks to the August 15 Strikeforce show, and Mousasi is celebrating by training at Freddie Roach's gym in Los Angeles.

I consider Mousasi one of the most promising young MMA fighters in the world, and I'm glad Strikeforce came forward to promote the Mousasi-Babalu fight. That's going to be a very good one.

But while I have a lot of respect for Roach as a boxing trainer, I'm not crazy about seeing Mousasi train with him. Mousasi has made noises about becoming a professional boxer, and I think that's the wrong move for Mousasi: He has shown knockout power with his feet and good ground skills, and I think he's limiting himself if he turns away from MMA and toward boxing.

On the other hand, if Mousasi is just hoping Roach can help him refine his striking, that's great. And as disappointing as it is that we're not going to get to see any fights tonight, one of the few silver linings of the Affliction meltdown is that Babalu vs. Mousasi is now a five-round Strikeforce title fight.

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