Gegard Mousasi wants the quickest path to a UFC title shot, but he would prefer not to have Jon Jones standing at the end of the road.
The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ should be commended for his honesty, as he recently revealed his reluctance to face Jones on MMAJunkie.com Radio:
"I believe if I go to 185 I'll be much stronger. At the highest level, you don't want to give any advantage. If you look at Jon Jones, you don't want to fight a guy that's very talented, has the skills, and also has the strength. Then you give too much advantage away."
Perhaps Mousasi's sudden change of heart came after witnessing Jones' dominant performance against Chael Sonnen at UFC 159.
Despite being a top middleweight contender and one of the best wrestlers in MMA, Sonnen was taken down repeatedly and pummeled by Jones, a real-life "Mr. Fantastic." Technique always trumps strength, but it's tough to make up for size when the larger athlete is just as skilled and talented.
On FUEL TV's UFC Tonight, Sonnen explained what it was like being in the same cage as Jones:
"This was like getting into a bear cage. This guy was a monster of a man. We weighed in at the same size the day before, and I don't know how that was possible. As far as the match went, I got beat up."
Unfortunately for Mousasi, things won't get any easier at 185 pounds.
He would then enter the division of arguably the greatest fighter in MMA history, Anderson Silva. Even Sonnen can vouch for Silva's greatness, as he was defeated twice by the legendary middleweight champ.
Still, Sonnen's performances against Silva were much more competitive than his bout against Jones, where he was completely dwarfed by a world class fighter.
Mousasi should have plenty of time to mull over the possibility of returning to middleweight. He is once again on the road to recovery after reinjuring his torn ACL from 2012. The injury could put him on the shelf for the rest of this year into early 2014.
Plenty of things could change by then that may influence Mousasi's decision. Silva and Jones may no longer be UFC champions. Perhaps Jones finally decides to make the move to heavyweight.
In any case, Mousasi may have to learn the hard way that the quickest path isn't necessarily the easiest, as defeating Jones or Silva is a monumental feat of its own.