Gegard Mousasi Wants "Famous" Opponent for UFC Return Bout
Gegard Mousasi wants to make a sonic boom upon reentry into the UFC.
Mousasi said Monday he is on track to return on or about January 2014, and he still plans to do so as a middleweight. Though Vitor Belfort declined a challenge from the Dutch-Armenian, Mousasi is still hunting for a big-name opponent for his Octagon return, which will come after about a year on the shelf following surgery to repair a torn ACL.
"I like Vitor Belfort. He’s a nice guy and I have nothing against him. But I want to go for the title shot and if I fight him and I win, that would get me a little bit closer to my goal. That’s it, nothing less," Mousasi said Monday on The MMA Hour broadcast with host Ariel Helwani.
"But it’s not going to happen any more. So I just want to come back and fight some guy who is top three, who is famous, who people think is good."
In his UFC debut in April, the 28-year-old Mousasi (34-3-2) was originally set to face Alexander Gustafsson in a light heavyweight match at UFC on Fuel TV 9. However, Gustafsson pulled out with an injury, and Mousasi instead faced and defeated relative unknown Ilir Latifi.
Who should Gegard Mousasi fight upon his UFC return?
Over the intervening months, Gustafsson received a title shot against light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, which will serve as the main event for Saturday's UFC 165 pay-per-view.
Mousasi, meanwhile, revealed shortly after his win that he had fought with a torn ACL. What's more, it was the same ACL he had previously torn, and it would need a second operation and recovery.
"December is a possibility, but, you know, this is the second time," Mousasi said of his return and rehab. "So we're much more careful, so maybe I'll take a little bit longer before I step back in the cage. But the recovery is going well."
Mousasi, a former light heavyweight champion in both the Strikeforce and DREAM promotions, is currently on a seven-fight unbeaten streak. In 2008, he won the DREAM middleweight grand prix and championship by defeating current UFC middleweight contender Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza.
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