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Gegard Mousasi on perceived unfair pay: ‘How am I not marketable?’

UFC 210 photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Gegard Mousasi enters his free agency period on a five-fight win streak, with seven victories in his past eight.

And the way he sees it, following his controversial second-round TKO victory over Chris Weidman at UFC 210, its time to get paid as well as the rest of the world’s top fighters.

In a spirited defense of his record at the post-fight press conference at Buffalo’s KeyBank Center, Mousasi rattled off the names of several former world champions among the those he’s defeated over the course of his career.

“I should get paid,” Mousasi (42-6-2) said. “I have defeated Jacare [Souza]. I have defeated Mark Hunt. I have defeated Dan Henderson. I have defeated Vitor Belfort. I have defeated Weidman. Who else? All these guys I have defeated are making more money than me.”

The Holland citizen, born in Iran and of Armenian heritage, can’t put his finger on why he hasn’t gotten pushed the way several others in the division have.

“What is it, my nationality?” Mousasi asked. “Do you want me to dye my hair blonde? What the f**k? I am one of the best, I should get paid like one of the best.”

Mousasi also pointed to his experience all over the world, and ability to sell fights on several continents, as a reason he deserves elite pay.

“I’m fighting a long, long f**ing time,” Mousasi said. “I fought all around the world, I fought in all different organizations, I’m top four now, even top three because Bisping is not No. 1. I can fight in Japan, I can fight in Europe, I can fight in U.S. How am I not marketable? I speak English. I don’t know, they come back to Holland I can fight there.”

Mousasi seems particularly embittered about Hunt, whom he submitted in 1:19 in Japan’s DREAM promotion. Hunt is presently making a flat $750,000 per fight.

“Let’s say about Mark Hunt, with a record of 10-12(-1), no disrespect to Mark Hunt, I’m happy for him, let him make $10 million,” Mousasi said. “I’m just comparing this payment as well as to what I should get.”

Mousasi also believes he can supplant UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, both as a fighter and as a mouthpiece.

“There’s nothing wrong with me,” Mousasi said. “Just pay my what I’m worth. I’m a fair guy, I’m not asking more than what I’m worth. Do you think I can’t beat Bisping? I cannot talk like him? What is it?”

Ultimately, despite his angry sounding words, Mousasi seems to believe he and the UFC will get a deal done.

“Dana [White] said we’re going to get a deal done,” Mousasi said. “I talk to Dana, they talked good about me, I’m sure I’m going to get a deal done. My goal is to get the belt, the UFC belt. I’m not looking to go anywhere else.”

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