Opinion: Gegard Mousasi’s Dominant UFC on FUEL TV 9 Win
By Michael Hatamoto
Gegard Mousasi won his UFC debut against Ilir Latifi in a dominant, yet safe manner against the clearly overmatched Swedish ‘sledge hammer.’
Mousasi reportedly overcame an injury and slight cold – along with a last-minute replacement – to win his UFC debut in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 9. It was a clean 30-27 sweep on all three judges’ score cards, as the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion was in full control the entire fight.
Latifi was able to land a few clean shots against Mousasi, but it was the accurate jabs by Mousasi throughout all three rounds that left Latifi bloodied and battered.
Here is what Mousasi had to say following the fight:
“Coming into this fight, I was injured, and last week I got a cold. I didn’t go berserk. I thought I had it striking-wise, and I took advantage of that. I know he’s a wrestler, so I didn’t want him to close the distance. I fought smart. Some people lay and pray – so maybe I did a little of that with the standup.”
I wonder if the UFC will try to match up Mousasi against Gustafsson in a future light heavyweight matchup, though the fight won’t be held in Sweden. It would offer a compelling storyline, as it would be a good chance for Gustafsson to avenge his teammate’s loss to Mousasi.
The pressure will be on Mousasi the next time he steps into the octagon, because he’s going to need to win in convincing fashion if he wants to work his way towards a title shot.