Gegard Mousasi made his much-awaited return to MMA, as he was greeted in the cage by the always tough Mike Kyle. Mousasi is considered one of the top 205ers in the world, so a win against Kyle would likely put him into UFC title contention.
The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion put on a ground clinic, earning a submission victory over Kyle in the first round.
Here is what we learned from Mousasi vs. Kyle.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
Mousasi's ground control. The guy is extremely underrated on the ground and absolutely dictated everything that happened on the mat with Kyle.
Once he mounted Kyle, he threw a bevy of punches that had Kyle in a panic. Finally, the American gave up his back, and Mousasi tapped him with a rear-naked choke.
What We Learned About Mike Kyle
Kyle is a big guy with powerful striking, but he needs to work on fighting off his back. Mousasi went through him on the ground like a hot knife through butter, which led to the first-round stoppage loss.
What We Learned About Gegard Mousasi
Mousasi is an animal. He said in the post-fight interview on TV that he only cut about five pounds to make light heavyweight, so maybe he could fight in the middleweight division if he could cut the weight.
Once the fight was on the ground, he was relentless. I would hate to be the next man who winds up on the bottom of him.
What's Next for Kyle
Kyle will likely be looking for a job after this. Bellator would be a nice home for a guy of his power and skill, as he could potentially make a run at the 205-lb. title.
If he makes the UFC (which is doubtful), a bout with Thiago Silva when he returns from suspension would be an interesting fight.
What's Next for Mousasi
Mousasi, assuming he stays at light heavyweight, has some options in the UFC. This is especially true because he is likely a top-15 guy upon entering the UFC.
Mousasi would benefit from fighting either Alexander Gustafsson or Phil Davis. Both of those fights have big-time implications and could produce a potential top contender.