Gegard Mousasi erupts over UFC matchmaking ahead of final fight on his contract
Gegard Mousasi knows that a win over former champion Chris Weidman at UFC 210, which would be his fifth victory in a row, should probably necessitate him a title shot, but he already knows ahead of time that it’s not going to happen.
Mousasi has been on the most impressive streak of his UFC career lately, including wins over Vitor Belfort and Thales Leites, but he’s still at least a couple of fights away from title contention due to the muddy waters at the top of the middleweight division where current champion Michael Bisping is not preparing for a showdown with Georges St-Pierre.
St-Pierre will get a shot at the gold after nearly four years away from the sport while also never having competed in the middleweight division. None of that sits well with the top contenders at 185 pounds vying for that same opportunity, including Mousasi — who has been gunning for a shot at the title since his first day in the UFC>
“At first they made the Dan Henderson fight [against Michael Bisping] that didn’t make any sense. The No. 1 contender didn’t fight then. Now they’re making the GSP fight and Michael Bisping hasn’t fought for a long time. So the No. 1 contender has to wait again,” Mousasi explained when speaking to the Fight Society podcast. “If the No. 1 contenders would have fought in those two fights, I would have fought [for the title] by now.
“Because the UFC is making these silly fights.”
Mousasi’s biggest argument is the logjam at the top of the division where Yoel Romero has undoubtedly done more than enough to earn a shot at the title yet he’s sitting on the sidelines waiting for Bisping to fight St-Pierre.
As much as Mousasi would like to then believe a win over Weidman would get him the next place in line, he’s also aware that Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has a huge top 10 fight against Robert Whittaker booked for UFC Fight Night in Kansas City one week after UFC 210.
It’s all adding up to a big waiting game and none of it sits well with Mousasi.
“Now if I win, I’m going to have to put everything on the line again and if I win then maybe I’m next. And still maybe,” Mousasi lamented. “Because who knows what fight they’re going to make after this. Like I said, I deserve this. ‘Jacare’ has deserved a shot already. Yoel Romero deserves his shot. Why aren’t we getting our title shots? What can I say. They’re just stalling or whatever. Now they’re saying GSP may not want to fight until January or whatever. Make GSP fight Anderson Silva. If they want to have a super fight, make GSP vs. Anderson.
“Even if GSP wins, he’s going to vacate the title. It’s as simple as that. He’s not going to defend against a top middleweight. He’s just looking for a fight and then he will go. He will go fight somebody else.”
While some middleweights have been taking out their frustration on Bisping for his supposed role in the matchmaking, Mousasi isn’t pointing the finger at him over this current situation.
“He’s got to do what’s good for him and his family. He’s going to try to make some money and retire. You cannot blame the guy who wants to make money and take care of the future of his family. You can’t blame the guy,” Mousasi said about Bisping. “If I was to blame, I would blame the UFC for making those fights.
“They shouldn’t make those fights. Like I said, they should have made Anderson vs. GSP because GSP hasn’t fought in three years and he’s never fought at middleweight. How can he get a title shot? It doesn’t make any sense. Make up different fights.”
All of this is happening as Mousasi is not only preparing to fight Weidman on Saturday night, but that bout will also be the final on his current contract with the UFC.
Rather than sign a new deal ahead of time, Mousasi decided to gamble on himself as he faces a former champion in Weidman with a chance to notch his fifth win in a row in the middleweight division. It’s also a chance for Mousasi to show the upper management at the UFC what he’s capable of doing because he doesn’t believe he’s being paid anything close to what he’s worth.
“I just see that Vitor Belfort is making tons more money than me. I defeated Dan Henderson, he’s making tons more money than me. I defeated Mark Hunt. He’s making $800,000 a fight. I can beat Michael Bisping and even before he was champion he was making a lot more than me. Why don’t I deserve to make some money? How is it possible Mark Hunt is making $800,000 with a record of 10-10? He has a record of 10 wins and 10 losses. Look at my record. How the [expletive] is that possible?” Mousasi asked.
“It comes all down to this fight. That’s why I trained so hard for this fight. It’s not because I want to beat Chris Weidman. It’s because I need to get paid and I’m going to get paid. That’s what I’m going to do.
Make no mistake, Mousasi wants to stay with the UFC after his fight with Weidman is finished, but he also hopes to see a significant raise after it’s over.
“I’m going to beat Weidman because he’s settled. I’m still hungry. I’m focused. I’ve worked hard for this fight just to finish the contract strongly,” Mousasi promised.
“As they say — show me the money! First, I need to win and then I can have that.”
Listen to the rest of Mousasi’s interview on the Fight Society podcast along with Mackenzie Dern and Will Brooks via Soundcloud or download and subscribe to the show on iTunes.