from M1 Global‘s Website:
Over the course of the past two years, M-1 contracted fighter Gegard Mousasi has emerged as one of MMA’s biggest International stars. And on Aug. 1 at Affliction and M-1 “Trilogy,” Mousasi will take the next step in his evolution as one of the sport’s brightest young fighters when he competes for the first time on U.S. soil.
The event, which will be available via Internet PPV on M-1Global.com and Mixfight.ru to International fight fans, will feature Mousasi in what could be the toughest test of his career in Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
During an exclusive interview with M-1Global.com, Mousasi expressed his belief that while Sobral will be a tough test, that he’s up for the task.
“I have fought before as light heavyweight but not a fighter as the caliber of Sobral,” said Mousasi. “It’s going be a good test for me I feel I will do just fine because I feel already comfortable with the weight.
“(Babalu) is a tough opponent and experienced fighter. It’s going to be a good fight, as he has good BJJ, good wrestling, and a lot experience.”
Mousasi, DREAM’s former middleweight champion, made his first foray into competing in heavier weight classes when he defeated K-1 star Mark Hunt in the first round of DREAM’s “Super Hulk” tournament this past May.
The move up in weight was neccessitated by what Mousasi has stated was too great of a challenge of cutting to 185 pounds. Not wanting to continue to place a heavy toll on his physical condition, Mousasi believes the move has helped him.
(I feel) very good I have done things different this time and I feel it has helped a lot,” Mousasi began. “The fighters in this weight class are obviously much bigger but less agile as compared to middleweight.”
When Mousasi ventures to Anaheim, Calif. for his U.S. debut, he will not be alone, as Fedor Emelianenko, who is also contracted to M-1, will be joining him. Emelianenko will be defending his WAMMA heavyweight title against number one contender Josh Barnett during the night’s main event.
During the course of our interview, Mousasi responded to reports that the two would train together in Mousasi’s home base of Holland.
“No, (we have not) trained together,” he responded. “Fedor’s camp has been focused in Stary Oskol, Russia. We’ve trained together in the past and our training made me realize that I can also fight as a heavyweight.”