Mixfight.ru recently conducted a fan-submission interview with M-1’s Gegard Mousasi, the recently-crowned Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. In the special question and answer session, Mousasi fans were given the unique opportunity to go one-on-one with the champ himself and ask the questions they wanted answered.
Below is a translated version of the interview, courtesy of our M1’s sister-site, www.Mixfight.ru:
Fan Question #1: I’ve re-watched your fight against Akihiro Gono back in 2006. It’s my personal subjective opinion, but it seemed that you lost because of emotions. My question is how important is emotional preparation in your training? Do you pay a lot of attention to it or is that just a small part of your preparations? Thank you.
Gegard Mousasi: He won fair and square. I didn’t have a lot of experience back then and mentally also, I wasn’t very sure of myself. Now I feel when I train well that gives me confidence that I can win my fight, then I feel good going into a fight. But also after that fight with Gono I realized that I have to fight smart, so for me the more emotional I fight the more mistakes I make. That’s why I try to be calm and do the job well.
Fan Question #2: I’d like to know about the physical achievements of Gegard if he does it, like bench press and how many pull-ups he does?
Gegard Mousasi: I don’t train with weights. The only time I did it was when I wanted to put on some muscle. When I have a fight planned I train with my own weight, I aim for explosiveness with push-ups and pull-ups but not to make any record.
Fan Question #3: Being at light heavyweight now, what is your diet if any? Do you restrict yourself in anything?
Gegard Mousasi: When I prepare for an upcoming fight I stop eating anything unhealthy, I avoid sugar. Beside that, not a strict diet but I do my best to gain weight right now so when I drop down to 205 I will be big and strong, less fat more muscle.
Fan Question #4: Gegard, what are your thoughts on the future of cooperation between M-1 Global and Strikeforce and its alliance with DREAM? How many fights do you have left on your contract with Strikeforce? Do you plan to compete in UFC after that?
Gegard Mousasi: I think it’s great. There will be some exciting matchups for the fans. Business-wise it’s also very smart for all three parties. I have two fights left with Strikeforce, after that we have to see but I want to be loyal to people who gave me a chance and have been good to me and have the right intentions with me.
Fan Question #5: What strategy would you pick for a fight against Lyoto Machida? Where do you see his weaknesses?
Gegard Mousasi: He is a great fighter. I would probably fight him standing up. He doesn’t have weaknesses, his style is very different. If I had to fight him I would try to put the pressure on him in the standup.
Fan Question #6: Hi Gegard! Throughout your career you managed to compete in different shows and promotions: Rings, 2H2H, Pride, Bodog, M-1, DREAM, Strikeforce. Can you give us your thoughts on how much they differed from each other, their environment, organizational degrees, culture (for instance Japan against America)? How important is that to you? Where did you like to fight more or are your opponent’s qualities more important?
Gegard Mousasi: In Japan the audience is quieter and they know more of the ground technique. I really feel that Japan has the most beautiful culture and history in the world. In America people are very loud, it’s a lot of fun but they are pretty quick to start booing you (LOL). I like fighting in America because everything is more familiar like the language, food, TV, shows. Both Strikeforce and Dream are very professional with taking care of the fighters. When you have to fight everything has been taken care of, that’s always important.
Fan Question #7: Could you please clear things up once and for all for the readers asking themselves whether you got paid only $2.000 for the title fight in your debut at Strikeforce.
Gegard Mousasi: It’s something I cannot talk about. All I can say I am happy with what I have earned.
Fan Question #8: You were coaching Team Turkey in M-1 Challenge. Could you comment on that, taking history between Turkey and Armenia into account? What are your relations with the fighters of Team Turkey?
Gegard Mousasi: I could get along with everybody on the team. I have a lot of Turkish friends in Holland. I never think about what has happened a long time ago. That can affect my relation with the people I am friends with now.
Fan Question #9: What was your most important win and what was your hardest fight?
Gegard Mousasi: For me personally the most important one was after my loss to Gono, it was against Hector Lombard. I really didn’t want to lose twice in a row in Pride. As for the hardest fight, that was my draw against Gilson Ferreira. I didn’t have a lot of experience and it was just a brawl fight.
Fan Question #10: Do you learn how to use the fence of the cage during the fight? How do you perceive the difference between cage and ring? Where do you like to fight more?
Gegard Mousasi: I like the cage more. You have a lot of room to move backwards when an opponent wants to bring you down and you can use the cage to get back up. For me it’s better because I like the stand-up. Actually I don’t have the cage where I train so we use the wall.
Fan Question #11: Do you watch other’s fights? What fighters do you like to watch? While preparing for an upcoming fight do you study your opponent’s fights?
Gegard Mousasi: Yes, I like watching Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Georges St.Pierre, Brock Lesnar. Personally, I don’t like to watch my future opponent’s footage. I let my friends watch it and analyze it for me. Of course sometimes I learn my opponent’s name and I have already seen a lot of his fights in the past so I have a good impression how he fights. Mentally that works better for me.
Fan Question #12: A lot of spectators catch a likeness in behavior between you and Fedor Emelianenko. You are calm and seem unassuming with not many emotions but remain concentrated all the time. Did you learn it yourself or maybe partially from Fedor? Was it natural?
Gegard Mousasi: Well, I’ve always been like this. When it comes to being calm I never get happy after a fight. Of course when I am in the locker room I celebrate and get excited. In the past I used to throw up before the fight but with experience I found out that I perform much better when I am relaxed and concentrated, then I clearly know what I am going to do in the fight.
Fan Question #13: Who could you name as an up-and-coming fighter in M-1 Challenge 2009? Who should people take a closer look at?
Gegard Mousasi: Daisuke Nakamura has always been a great fighter to watch. Karl Amoussou is a great talent. My friends Jessie Gibbs and Michal Kita have tons of potential. I hope they get a chance to prove themselves on the big stage.
Fan Question #14: What is your opinion about dirty tricks? Did you ever experience that on yourself while in a fight? Who was that? Was it intentional?
Gegard Mousasi: I don’t know, in my fights I have never experienced such things. I believe I have not done things in the ring myself that are not allowed. If you have trained well I don’t think you need that kind of things. It’s not very sportsmanlike, it shows you are weak.
Fan Question #15: I wish you to keep up the pace, not relax and prepare for your next fight as diligently as you did for your previous fights. I personally believe the real test for Gegard starts now and it’s vital to keep working hard. Good luck to you!
Gegard Mousasi: Thanks my friend.