from M1 Global‘s Website:
Earlier this week M-1Global.com posted excerpts of an exclusive interview conducted with M-1-contracted fighter Gegard Mousasi.
Mousasi is currently in Holland preparing for his Aug. 1 light heavyweight bout vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral during Affliction and M-1 “Trilogy” in Anaheim, Calif.
He took a break from his training to speak exclusively with M-1. During the course of the interview, Mousasi discussed his feelings about fighting on U.S. soil for the first time; shared his thoughts about possibly fighting for the UFC or Strikeforce in the future; and also addressed his plans to eventually move to heavyweight on a full-time basis and whether he’d consider a fight vs. Fedor.
M-1Global.com: Your Aug. 1 fight at “Trilogy” vs. Babalu Sobral will mark your first major fight on U.S. soil. How are you feeling right now?
Gegard Mousasi: I feel very good. I am in very good shape. It’s my first fight in the U.S. so I am a little nervous because I want to do well.
M-1Global.com: Sobral is the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. Any chance that the title will be on the line even though it is an Affliction show?
Gegard Mousasi: No, Strikeforce is a separate organization so no title on the line.
M-1Global.com: Would you like an opportunity to rematch him in Strikeforce and challenge for his title?
Gegard Mousasi: Well, thats not up to me. I will have to wait until the outcome of the fight but there is a chace that I will be fighting in Strikeforce so the chances are big that will have to face each other again.
M-1Global.com: Who has been helping you prepare for the Sobral fight?
Gegard Mousasi: My brother, Gewik, my friends, especially Abdul, and I also train with Jessie Gibbs. Jessie will also be fighting on the Affliction/M-1 show.
M-1Global.com: Your jiu-jitsu has improved a great deal over the course of the last two years but Sobral is considered by some to be a world class grappler. Will you look to keep the fight a standup battle or are you confident enough in your grappling that you are unconcerned about the fight going to the ground?
Gegard Mousasi: We’ll see. I feel comfortable fighting from my back but I’d rather have the top position on the ground like a lot of fighters. So standup or ground, I feel I will do fine.
M-1Global.com: Originally, it looked like you were going to fight Vitor Belfort at “Trilogy,” but both of you are fighting different opponents. Do you feel Vitor declined the fight because he did not want to compete about 185 lbs. or do you think he was concerned about your skills?
Gegard Mousasi: He has fought some very big names. It’s not that his concerned about my skills. He does what is good for him. I wish him the best.
M-1Global.com: A lot of critics questioned your move from middleweight. Did you feel any sense of vindication and that you proved people wrong following your quick win over Mark Hunt in the first round of the DREAM “Super Hulk” tournament?
Gegard Mousasi: Hmmm… Well, I still have to prove that in time this is the best weight for me. But I also fought the K-1 fight at this weight and fought well so for me I feel I can fight the best at 205 but I still need to prove it.
M-1Global.com: Do you know when you’ll be fighting Sokoudjou in the second round of the “Super Hulk” tournament?
Gegard Mousasi: Well, I heard that it has been changed to October so I will have some time to relax after this fight.
M-1Global.com: There is some speculation that Aug. 1 could be Affliction’s last event. Have you been approached by the UFC or Strikeforce about signing with them?
Gegard Mousasi: Well there is a big chance that I will be going to fight for Strikeforce but if the money is good in the UFC, it could change my mind.
M-1Global.com: If you signed in the UFC, a fight vs. Lyoto Machida is something that would be possible. What do you think of him as a fighter and his fighting style?
Gegard Mousasi: He has already proven himself that he is one of the best he can be. They said the same about Anderson Silva in regarding his fighting style, Well, no one has found the answer for it so it works very well for him.
M-1Global.com: Your goals are to keep figting at light heavyweight and heavyweight. You are friends with Fedor and will be competing in his same weight class. If the offer was right, is fighting him in the future something that is possible?
Gegard Mousasi: I want to fight for two years as a light heavyweight and slowly go to heavyweight. About fighting Fedor… that’s not going to happen and to be honest, I don´t think I am ready for a fighter of Fedor’s caliber at heavyweight. I need time to get better, bigger and stronger. But that’s in the future.