Gegard Mousasi: Michael Bisping is the ‘weakest’ amongst the top five middleweights
Gegard Mousasi has been asking the UFC for a top five opponent for a very long time, but only now has his wish been granted with a matchup against former middleweight champion Chris Weidman this Saturday night in Buffalo.
While Mousasi enters the contest on a four-fight win streak, Weidman will look to stop the bleeding after dropping his last two bouts with TKO losses to both Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero.
When Mousasi was first offered the fight, he believed Weidman was waffling on the decision whether or not to accept the matchup, which resulted in a back-and-forth war of words via Twitter.
“Let’s be honest, he’s got two losses [in a row] so if it was me, I would have chosen an easier fight also,” Mousasi told the Fight Society podcast when speaking about Weidman. “Eventually, he took the fight. Kudos to him.
“I was just looking for a fight and a lot of fighters weren’t available so the UFC were pushing for the Chris Weidman fight.”
Mousasi may have taken a couple of shots at Weidman about not accepting the fight as quickly as he wanted, but he still was excited about finally earning a matchup with a former champion at UFC 210.
In fact, Mousasi doesn’t really hold Weidman’s two fight losing streak against him because he knows just how dangerous the middleweight waters can be, especially for those competitors taking on challengers from inside the top five rankings.
Mousasi says there’s no shame in falling to anybody ranked in the top five, although he does take exception to current champion Michael Bisping, who he rates as the worst of the entire bunch.
“On any given day, the top five guys can beat each other,” Mousasi explained. “It’s very evenly matched. Yoel Romero, his fight with “Jacare” [Souza], Luke Rockhold, they’re all evenly matched and can beat each other. Michael Bisping is the weakest and he’s the champion, but he will be done soon. That’s one thing for sure.
“One of those top five guys is a tough opponent to face. We’ll see how it goes.”
As far as his matchup with Weidman goes, despite the early trash talk to try and get the fight made, Mousasi insists that he has the utmost respect for the New York native and looks forward to going against him on Saturday night.
Mousasi has worked tirelessly on fixing any holes in his game ahead of this pivotal matchup in his career as he steps into UFC 210 on the final fight on his current contract.
Mousasi hopes with a win over Weidman, the UFC will pony up a much bigger payday while also inserting him into title contention in the very near future. The fight is also very important to Weidman due to those prior two losses because a third in a row could be devastating for any future prospects if he hopes to re-enter the title race.
Mousasi believes due to the way they matchup combined with Weidman’s current circumstances where he may be in a do-or-die situation that the former champion will truly look to engage in the action to prove he’s still an elite middleweight capable of being champion again one day.
Unfortunately, Mousasi believes that strategy will backfire once Weidman realizes what he’s up against.
“At the end of the day he’s trying to push the pace. He’s going to work on conditioning and he’s going to come forward. That’s his way of fighting. I think he really underestimates my stand up. He’s not going to walk forward as much as he thinks he can. He’s a guy who brings the fight, but I think my stand up is way, way much better than him. I think I have the best stand up in the middleweights. I think that’s why the fight will be heavily favored to me,” Mousasi explained.
“He’s not going to play it safe because if he doesn’t push the pace and come forward, he’s a sitting duck. He has to understand I’ve been working on my wrestling everyday almost. He won’t take me down. That much I can guarantee. I know people are asking me about the takedown so they are looking at old fights, but he has to come forward. Otherwise, it’s going to be an easy fight for me and he knows that.”
Whether Weidman engages in a striking battle or opts for a wrestling heavy offense, Mousasi just doesn’t see a way this fight doesn’t end with his own hand being raised.
Mousasi has left no stone unturned as he gets ready for Weidman and there’s no amount of preparation that he sees leading the former champion to victory.
“I respect the guy. I like him. He seems like a nice guy so nothing against the guy, but he’s just too slow. He’s just too slow,” Mousasi said about Weidman.
“I’m in my prime. He has to be in top condition and have a lot of luck to beat me. That’s all he should hope for.”