The MMA Top Ten 2.24.14: Top 10 Gegard Mousasi Fights
Posted by Alex Rella on 02.24.2014
From his battle with Keith Jardine and his Strikeforce fight with Mike Kyle to his wars with Hector Lombard, Mark Hunt, Ronaldo Souza and more, 411's Alex Rella counts down the top 10 Gegard Mousasi fights of all-time!
Gegard Mousasi's Top Ten Fights
What's up everybody, I am Alex Rella and this is another riveting edition of the MMA Top Ten. This week is Gegard Mousasi's top ten fights. He's one of my favorite fighters to watch and I was hoping to add on a victory against Machida to the list, but he just got outclassed last week. Regardless of his recent loss, Mousasi has had a great career so far and he's only 28. With a 34-4-2 record, Mousasi has also won the Dream Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, Middleweight Grand Prix, Dream Light Heavyweight title, Dream Middleweight title, and the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title. Even if he ends up being a dud in the UFC (which I doubt), that's still a really great resume. The rankings this week are based on a mix of the usual criteria: fight quality, the significance of the fight in relation to his career, and some of my personal opinion mixed in.
∑ VS Ovince St. Preux Strikeforce - Mousasi won via unanimous decision.
∑ VS Ilir Latifi UFC on Fuel 9- Mousasi won via unanimous decision.
∑ VS Tatsuya Mizuno Dream 16- Mousasi won via first round rear naked choke.
10: VS Mark Hunt Dream 9
In addition to holding gold at middleweight and light heavyweight during his career, Mousasi has also made the occasional appearance at heavyweight. Back in 2009 he took on Mark Hunt in the opening round of DREAM's Super Hulk Grand Prix. Now Mark Hunt is one of the best heavyweights in the world, but not so much back in 2009. Mousasi took him down only about fifteen seconds into the fight. He immediately started working for a kimura which he got for the win at 1:1. An impressive victory considering the size difference between the two.
9:VS Gary Goodridge Dynamite 2009
I always liked watching Gary Goodridge fight as he usually won or lost in highly entertaining fashion, but the guy fought for way too long into his forties. Goodridge ended his career on an eight fight losing streak and now suffers from dementia pugilistica, more commonly known as punch drunk syndrome. At the year end show in 2009, Goodridge took on the then Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. Mousasi took him down quick and showed some great ground and pound as the ref stopped the fight. Goodridge argued that it was prematurely stopped, but he wasn't winning this one. A dominant performance against a UFC tournament runner up.
8: VS Hector Lombard Pride Bushido 13
Gegard Mousasi started competing in Pride when he was only twenty years old. He would even make it to the quarterfinals of the 2006 Welterweight Grand Prix. Akihiro Gono would knock him out of the tournament and Mousasi would take on Hector Lombard in an alternate bout during the semifinals. This was a fun fight between two future champions a couple years before they would reach their respective primes. Lombard scored a quick a takedown, but Mousasi would control most of the fight on the ground and mainly go to work while on Lombard's back. They were pretty evenly matched standing up, but Mousasi kept bringing it to the ground where he had the clear advantage. Mousasi won by unanimous decision and Lombard wouldn't lose again until his UFC debut at UFC 149
7: VS Melvin Manhoef Dream 6
Melvin Manhoef is a one dimensional fighter, but he still hits really hard. Manhoef came into the Dream Middleweight Grand Prix semifinal with a nice 22-4-1 record and knocked out Kazushi Sakuraba in the previous round. Mousasi immediately looked to exploit the kickboxer's weakness as he took him down almost immediately. Manhoef tried to escape, but ended up in a triangle choke. Manhoef then tried to powerbomb his way out of the hold, but he just ended up falling and tapping out.
6: VS Dennis Kang Dream 2
Some of Mousasi's best fights were in Dream and he took on middleweight veteran Denis Kang in his debut fight. Kang had a very respectable career competing all over the world with the UFC, Pancrase, M-1 Global, and Pride where he was the 2006 Middleweight Grand Prix runner up. They met in the opening round of Dream's middleweight Grand Prix in 2008. Kang scored an early takedown and it went for a kimura. Mousasi worked out of it and teased some of his lethal upkicks. While Kang avoided the kicks, he fell right into a triangle choke.
5:VS Thierry Sokoudjou Strikeforce
Thierry Sokoudjou will always be remembered for his huge upset victory over Little Nog at Pride 33, but he hasn't been too good since then besides a few nice fights in Dream. His Strikeforce debut was originally supposed to be Mousasi's first title defense, but it was eventually made into a three round non title fight. The Cameroonian had a nice first round with multiple trips and takedowns. The second round started off with a lot of clinching and grinding up against the cage. It eventually ended up on the ground with Sokodjou on top. Mousasi reversed position as both men were exhausted and he finished him off with strikes as Sokodjou was defending himself poorly
4:VS Mike Kyle Strikeforce
Mike Kyle fought nine times in Strikeforce, including their inaugural and final shows. Going 3-4-1(1), Kyle took on Mousasi as the company closed down. The former KOTC light heavyweight champion came out to an early lead showing off some strong striking, so Mousasi took him down, showed off his nice ground and pound, and took his back to lock in a rear naked choke to win. Kyle would announce his retirement afterwards, but has since returned and is currently signed with the WSOF. This was a nice way for Mousasi to close a big chapter in his career and come to the UFC on a high note.
3: VS Renato Sobral Strikeforce
Mousasi took on Renato Sobral in Strikeforce debut for the light heavyweight title. I personally can't stand Sobral, but the guy was a top fighter for a number of years. Babalu (terrible nickname) beat Bobby Southworth for the title in his Strikeforce debut the year before. Mousasi tripped him and knocked him out in about a minute. A dominant debut as he picked up one of the biggest wins of his career.
2: VS Jacare Souza Dream 6
Gegard Mousasi took on Jacare Souza in the DREAM 2008 Middleweight Grand Prix Finals to decide who would become the inaugural Dream middleweight champion. Souza came into this fight on a ten fight winning streak which included wins over Mayhem Miller and future Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko. Miller was the only guy he didn't finish off on that winning streak too. Mousasi was also on a ten fight winning streak which is kinda cool. Souza came out strong with an immediate takedown, but he got caught with a stiff upkick as he was going in for a strike. Souza was knocked out and Mousasi won gold for the first time in his career.
1: VS Keith Jardine Strikeforce
I forgot how great this fight was until I watched it again for this list. This was Mousasi's first fight in Strikeforce since he lost the light heavyweight title to Mo Lawal. Mousasi left the company for a year to compete in Dream. During that time he won their 2010 Light Heavyweight Grand Prix and the respective title. Keith Jardine was on a bit of a different road when he made his Strikeforce debut here. He ended his UFC run on a five fight losing streak, but did win two fights for smaller promotions before this one. These two beat the crap out of each other for three rounds in an exciting back and forth fight. Mousasi definitely had the upper hand with his more precise boxing, but Jardine stayed alive with his brawling style and multiple takedowns. Some people have called this fight a robbery because it ended in a draw, but I still think it was fair. Most people and myself included thought Jardine took the first round and Mousasi took the final two. Unfortunately for Mousasi he was deducted a point for an illegal upkick in the first round. Accident or not, it's going to happen when you slip up and break the rules. Still a great fight though.
So let me know how you guys would rank them or maybe I left a fight out that you thought should be in the top 10.
As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.
Next week will be the top ten women's title fights from major promotions.