When you see that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you just want to jump right to it, right there and then. Life isn't always that easy. When Zuffa purchased Strikeforce in March of 2011, it was assumed that everyone would merge to the UFC. After a lot of bumps in the road, that pot of gold is closer than ever for the Strikeforce fighters.
The final Strikeforce event will be taking place tomorrow night, and the futures for a lot of fighters are on the line. It looks like former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi's future is secure to be in the UFC, as he will be taking on Mike Kyle in light heavyweight action.
Mousasi stated in an interview last month that he never really trained for any of his 37 previous fights. The former champion wanted to clear the air on those remarks.
"I don't think I wasn't professional about it (training)," Mousasi told Bleacher Report. "I've been fighting for so long without any coaches. I was working with guys for a period and then I would go train somewhere else. I have what I need now to get to the next level. I didn't have the proper training before. That's what I have now, a good training camp. I just want to see what the results are going to be, because I feel great, feel stronger. I'm ready."
Mousasi and Kyle were supposed to face other on two different occasions, but Kyle had to bow out of both fights due to injury. "The Dreamcatcher" knew the fight with Kyle would eventually happen and isn't underestimating him.
"I thought the fight would happen if Strikeforce would have continued because Mike Kyle is a big man in Strikeforce at 205," Mousasi stated. "He's a dangerous opponent, and his kickboxing is underestimated. I think he's a strong, hard-hitting guy who's well-rounded and is someone you can't underestimate."
Only the hardcore fans knew who Mousasi was before he started fighting for Strikeforce in 2009, when he defeated Renato "Babalu" Sobral to become the light heavyweight champion. Mousasi is 3-1-1 in his Strikeforce run and has fond memories of the promotion that put his name on the map with fans in the United States.
"I think it's unfortunate (Strikeforce is closing) because Strikeforce has always had great fights," Mousasi stated. "Great fighters have fought there like Fedor (Emelianenko), (Josh) Barnett, Alistair (Overeem), Nick Diaz and Dan Henderson. You have a lot of great names that have fought there. I think they (Strikeforce) were good for MMA. I think the fighters will go to the UFC. There will be some very exciting matchups for the fans."
A lot of fighters on the card have uncertain futures of whether they will be in the UFC after Saturday. Mousasi hasn't been told whether he will be in the UFC, but feels confident his next fight will be there. The native of the Netherlands knows the pot of gold is at the end of rainbow, so staying focused on the task in front of him hasn't been a problem.
"I think because I'm not going for the title, every fight is the championship fight," Mousasi stated. "It's not any different fighting for Strikeforce or the UFC. If I lose this fight, then I will be in back of the line and I have to work all the way up again. It's that difficult for me to stay focused (on Mike Kyle)."
Unless otherwise stated, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
You can listen to the entire interview with Gegard Mousasi here.
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