Gegard Mousasi is done being quiet – even if that means he's going to make some enemies.
MMA fans got their first glimpse of this version of "The Dreamcatcher" after his unanimous decision victory over Thales Leities at UFC Fight Night 84. Joining Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, the 30-year-old fighter let the world know this more polarizing Mousasi is here to stay.
"I think people talked more about what happened after the fight than they were talking about the fight, that I won," Mousasi said. "They were more talking about the press conference or about the interview that I gave than my [actual] fight. It showed people like drama, I don’t know. People like crap. It doesn’t matter. I think if you have a big mouth and you perform so-so, it is what it is. People are going to notice you more. Nice guys come last. Let’s say it like that."
A particular point of interest following that UFC Fight Night 84 bout were some comments Mousasi directed toward a past opponent, Lyoto Machida. Mousasi accused the Brazilian of greasing in that fight, making him too slippery to control on the ground. Speaking with Helwani, Mousasi expanded on that thought.
"With the Machida fight, the problem was I took the fight in Brazil coming off injuries," Mousasi said. "Not being able to train or fight for a long time is not going to make you a better fighter. I think that was one of those things that cost me the fight, but also him being greased up...I remember one time I had his back, [and] he just, I don’t know, he put his ass up, and I slid down on his back like a chimney. I took him down, he got up like a fish.
"And then, later on, I noticed, he was so shiny, then I understood. Some fighters, they do, they grease up, and then once they sweat, the oil comes out, then you’re slippery. That, I can guarantee 100 percent that he did it. But it’s in the past. I’m telling the truth, [and] people don’t like it. People say, ‘he’s a bad loser.’ Well, mother----er, if that happens to you, you’re not going to like it, either."
Moving forward, Mousasi believes he can – and will – hold the UFC middleweight title. The problem, however, is that he doesn't see many fights out there that make sense for him, and it doesn't appear to him that the powers at play value his latest victory over Leites as they should.
"Obviously, [it’s annoying] because I was [ranked] number nine," Mousasi said. "I won that fight [against Leites]. I’m still number nine. It didn’t change anything. I’m like...I don’t know...It is what it is. I’m just looking for the fights that are going to make sense."
Combined with his knockout defeat to Uriah Hall in September, Mousasi isn't sure where he can go from here, and he's none too happy about it.
"Lately, I’ve been frustrated, especially with the last loss," Mousasi said. "I don’t think I get the credit that I deserve. Eventually, you’re going to see a kick or a punch that you’re not going to see. You’re going to lose eventually. It doesn’t matter who you are...It doesn’t mean that you were the [worse] fighter. Maybe you were the better fighter, but the better fighter doesn’t always win. I’m frustrated about the people that don’t know anything about the sport, but because of social media they have an opinion. Unfortunately, you have to hear their crap."
Despite this, Mousasi does have a few names in mind for his next outing, but he's not sure they'd sign on the dotted line.
"The frustration is that I’m now [ranked] nine, and I don’t know which fight is going to get me up closer to a title shot," Mousasi said. "I think Anderson [Silva] or Michael Bisping, those are the fights that make sense...I don’t think he’s [Silva is] going to take the fight, simply because I don’t have that name as, let’s say, Nick Diaz, or he fought Michael Bisping. It’s more about [being] a popularity contest."
Ditto for another Brazilian legend.
"Vitor Belfort, I think everyone wants to see that fight," Mousasi continued. "I think he doesn’t want it, like I said, [there is] nothing to gain if he fights me. Let’s say he’s fighting [Ronaldo] 'Jacare' [Souza], if he wins, he can get another title shot. He takes fights that are good for him, let’s say."
Rubbing a little salt in the wound, Mosuasi claims that he also campaigned for a fight on the May 8 UFC Fight Night 87 card in Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands. To the Dutch fighter, this fight would have marked a homecoming of sorts and a chance to showcase his skills in front of a passionate audience.
His request was promptly denied.
"I asked for that [a fight in Rotterdam], but they said the card’s full," Mousasi said. "They have the co-main event and the main event, so they won’t have a place for me to fight there. Yeah, obviously [I wanted to fight on it]. Because now I’m getting fat. I’m getting lazy. Obviously, it would’ve been good for me if I could fight, take a one-week rest, start slowly, then I wouldn’t have to lose weight again. Now, I’m getting chubby. I don’t know. It would be good to be active."
Despite all the setbacks and obstacles, though, Mosuasi still believes his persistence and his skill set will trump all in the long run. Whether he gets Bisping, Silva, Belfort – or anyone else – next, he still believes the path leads to a golden belt being strapped around his waist.
"My goal is, one day, if I fight for the title – whoever it is – I’m going to win it," Mousasi said. "That I know for sure. But [there are] a lot of speed bumps in my career. You see how it goes. We haven’t lost the hope."