Gegard Mousasi did what he needed to by beating Ovince St. Preux tonight.
He won most of the rounds and enforced his game plan which won him the decision.
It's also why he didn't do anything to impress fans.
Because he won by decision.
This is a man who has been able to knock out 18 opponents and submit 10 others in his 32 wins. He's a former kickboxer. St. Preux is a tough fighter who has made a name for himself in recent outings, but he should have been cannon fodder for an accomplished MMA artist like Mousasi.
Instead, it was a fight where as much as Mousasi dominated in the first two rounds, he was taken down in the final round and dragged into deep waters. For all the finishes that Mousasi has had in his career, the man has seen the third round a decent amount of times and against good opposition.
There was his draw with Keith Jardine and his five-round loss to Muhammed Lawal. He has been there before.
Looking at St. Preux's list of beaten opponents, none stand out on Mousasi's level. In fact, a few no-names have beaten him by TKO which meant that Mousasi should have been able to follow suit.
It didn't happen.
Mousasi was able to enforce his will on St. Preux, but he was never able to beat him soundly enough for the fight to warrant a stoppage.
It might not be a bad result, but keep in mind, this was a man that some were comparing to Jon Jones before his loss to Lawal. Others thought he might be the head of the light heavyweight division.
He was someone who seemed to be growing and getting a bigger list of victims to his name from each passing day.
This criticism might be premature because no one can know what level St. Preux might end up at, but Mousasi was supposed to be the best.
He was supposed to be one of the future champs of the division.
Instead, he's now struggling in fights with emerging challengers instead of wearing the Strikeforce or even UFC title.
The best way of explaining why Mousasi is a disappointment comes not from words, but from sight, and it comes in the third round of his fight with St. Preux finishing the round by choking Mousasi but failing to finish him.
For as strong and dominant as Mousasi was, for as strong as he can be, it was embarrassing.
He let a spectacular finish get away from him.
And that isn't something champions do.