UFC middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi spoke candidly to the media this week ahead on his Fight Night headline bout against Mark Munoz this Saturday in Berlin.
Speaking at the media workouts at the Supercrossfit gym in Berlin, Mousasi admitted that he had nerves coming into this massive bout, though that may not necessarily be a bad thing for him.
“Well this is an important fight. I have family and friends visiting. I have some stress,” admitted the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, “but good stress! The last fight (against Lyoto Machida) I wasn’t nervous at all and I performed… hmmmm… But every time I’m nervous I perform better. I think it’s a good fight, yeah.”
Both Mousasi and his opponent Mark Munoz are coming into this fight off losses against a common denominator in former UFC champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. While Munoz suffered a devastating first round knockout loss, Mousasi went all five rounds in what was essentially a glorified kickboxing bout that Machida won at a canter. So what, if anything, would Mousasi take from that loss?
“I think strategy,” he explained. “I didn’t come short on anything like fighting but I think I came short on strategy and changing the way I was fighting him. But I feel like [I’m] at the top level so I can compete with anyone. The gameplan was what I did wrong against Machida.
“I didn’t cut him off. I was chasing him, stuff like that. I needed to be more patient and let him come. I was fighting one way and I fought the whole fight the other way. I think changing the gameplan during the fight, and the strategy, is important.”
Mousasi has previously taken issue with how he’s perceived in the controversial UFC rankings. The confusion lingers as to how they decide these things, originally using the broader MMA media to decide the rankings overall. Mousasi does however have an idea where he might see himself with a win on Saturday.
“I’m not in the top 10 I saw last time. Check it. I was 12 and now I’m 10,” revealed Mousasi, who is actually ranked number 11 in the UFC rankings. “But I think a win will probably [leave me] at number five or something like that. Six, seven. Five to seven. Something like that, hopefully.”
He always comes to fight. But I’m not planning on fighting him, I’m planning to put my pace on the fight and slow him down.
As for the fight itself, Mousasi is fully aware of Munoz’s strategy and is adamant that he is fully prepared to take on the “Filipino Wrecking Machine’s” outstanding wrestling capabilities.
“I know his gameplan, he knows my gameplan. I have some tricks,” he said rather mischievously. “This is not a wrestling fight. And if he wants to wrestle he has to close the distance so we’re going to see how that goes.
“He always comes to fight. But I’m not planning on fighting him, I’m planning to put my pace on the fight and slow him down.”
To see how well Gegard Mousasi fares against Mark Munoz make sure to tune into UFC Fight Night Berlin this Saturday from 8 P.M. live on UFC Fight Pass and BT Sport.
Stay posted to TalkingBrawlsMMA.com all this week for more content on location for UFC Fight Night Berlin and on Twitter at @TBMMAdotcom!