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Gegard Mousasi: Lyoto Machida was always a step ahead

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JARAGUA DO SUL, Brazil -- Gegard Mousasi’s undefeated streak is over.

A former Strikeforce and Dream light heavyweight champion, Mousasi cut down do 185 pounds to fight Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night 36 in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, but his return to the middleweight division didn’t end as he expected.

"The Dreamcatcher" last competed at 185 in a title fight at Dream in 2008, scoring a surprising first-round finish over Ronaldo Souza. Mousasi, who went 10-1-1 since moving up in weight to compete at 205 and at heavyweight, stated over the week that he had the perfect strategy to frustrate Machida, but couldn’t match the Brazilian’s speed on Saturday night.

"He was always a step ahead," Mousasi said at the post-fight press conference. "I just couldn’t get started."

Right after the fight was over, Mousasi knew he had lost the bout. One of the judges had it 50-45 in favor of the Brazilian, but he would have scored the bout a little closer.

"I don’t know about the scoring," he said. "Maybe I had one round, maybe two."

Mousasi earned the "Fight of the Night" bonus, but drops to 1-1 under the Zuffa banner. "The Dreamcatcher," who last fought in April of 2013, doesn’t blame ring rust in his loss.

"Rhythm always helps, but I felt good in the fight," said Mousasi, when asked if the time away from the cage played a big part in his loss. "I don’t think so."