“King Mo,” a former collegiate wrestler, has had a lot of things to say about his Armenian opponent, and how Mousasi is underestimating him going into this weekend at Strikeforce: Nashville.
Some fighters are affected by the mind games developed through trash talk.
Their focus gets thrown off and they get caught up in the anger, something Master Yoda would say leads to the dark side.
Yeah, I’m a Star Wars fan! What of it? Focus people!
Does the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion let things like trash talk veer him off his road to success?
Bleacher Report MMA decided to ask.
“No, it’s just motivation for training harder,” Mousasi told BR MMA. “I’m not going to fight emotional. I’m just going to try and fight as professional as I can.”
With a stellar record of 28-2-1, Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi has been a professional fighter for seven years and is yet to reach his 25th birthday.
Having that much experience can give a fighter the sharpest of edges; this makes Mousasi’s MMA IQ off the charts for someone as young as him.
When Mousasi won his 205-pound title over another experienced fighter in Renato "Babalu" Sobral, he already had a number of fights behind him.
It took the devastating striker all of one minute to put away the UFC veteran.
While both fighters are considered very well seasoned, youth and a dynamic skill set separated the two combatants that night.
One can’t help but ask the champion if he expected to earn the title in such quick fashion.
“No, he’s very experienced. I was expecting a tough fight,” said Mousasi. “Sometimes you win very fast. Sometimes against lesser opponents you have a much more harder times. It’s a fight. You never know how things will go.”
Fortunately for the Armenian born fighter, things went his way that night.
This Saturday, however, Mousasi will have the task of stopping the meteoric rise of “King Mo.”
“He’s done his homework,” said Mousasi about fighting his opponent this weekend. “He’s been wrestling for a long time, so, it’s not like he just came out of nowhere, so, he’s good but we’re going to see how good he is come 17th of April.”
One thing that the media and fans have been buzzing about is the style differences between “King Mo” and Mousasi.
Lawal’s wrestling background stands out as, what many believe to be, a distinct advantage in this title fight.
“Everyone asks me wrestling, wrestling,” said Mousasi while shrugging his shoulders with a lack of worry. “It’s not a wrestling fight so it doesn’t mean anything.”
Mousasi continued to explain how his opponent’s wrestling background has little significance.
“Maybe he takes me down but I’m someone that’s very good… I fight very well on my back and I feel comfortable and I don’t see him hurting me in anything, so okay, he’s a good wrestler. Take me down once, twice but there’s five rounds. I only need to land one good punch.”
That wasn’t all. The champ spoke at length about a list of facets he feels he holds an advantage in his pending fight with Lawal.
“Stand-up, submission, experience, speed…definitely faster,” said Mousasi.
Being a champion, Mousasi is very confident going into his title defense at Strikeforce: Nashville.
The 205-pound king sees a plan of action rolling out for his fight this weekend, and predicts just how he’ll finish his flashy challenger.
“Stand-up or punches on the ground. No submission.”
Yup, you got it right. Mousasi doesn’t plan on waiting for “King Mo” to make a mistake on the ground.
No plans for jiu-jitsu, Gegard?
“No, maybe when he’s tired but I’m planning to knock him out.”
In preparation for this fight, Mousasi has been training with K-1 legend Peter Aerts and his normal camp in Holland, so there is no doubt that he plans on being the first opponent to knock “King Mo” away from his senses.
Strikeforce: Nashville takes place Saturday, April, 17 and will air for free on CBS. Check your local listings.
Follow Erik “Nahm” Fontanez on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NahmMMA and also follow Bleacher Report MMA at www.twitter.com/BleacherRprtMMA .