Promising UFC light heavyweight Gegard Mousasi recently said that a second surgery on his troublesome knee could keep him out until early 2014—significantly later than previously estimated.
In a May 10 interview with MMAJunkie.com Radio (h/t Bloody Elbow), Mousasi confirmed that this surgery was indeed on the same knee that was surgically reconstructed in 2012. Mousasi, 27, said in the interview that the re-injury did not result from a faulty operation.
"[The re-injury] wasn't about the surgery," Mousasi said. "It was just, maybe training too early or something like that that caused the problems...The surgeon didn't do anything wrong."
Unbeknownst to fans at the time, Mousasi (34-3-2) fought with the injury in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 9, which doubled as Mousasi's UFC debut. Mousasi looked tentative throughout the bout, though he easily won by unanimous decision over Ilir Latifi, himself a UFC newcomer and a late injury replacement for Alexander Gustafsson.
Mousasi's management firm estimated in April that the young light heavyweight would return in six months. However, the timeline now appears to be later—perhaps much later. In the May 10 interview, Mousasi said he would return some time between November and January.
Despite his young age, Mousasi has competed in professional MMA for a full decade. He has fought in nearly 20 different promotions, most recently in the now-defunct Strikeforce, before entering the UFC. Mousasi has long tantalized hardcore fans with a well-rounded game, but has sometimes appeared to suffer from a lack of focus or plain bad luck in high-pressure circumstances.
Mousasi appeared to have turned the corner on the eve of his UFC debut, noting that he had a new commitment to training and hoped for big things in the world's biggest MMA promotion. He has also teased a move down to middleweight, which might be a better fit for Mousasi given his size and frame. However, Mousasi's future plans are all on hold in the wake of this second ACL surgery.