Gegard Mousasi. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group
Just hours after his quick submission victory over Mark Hunt in the opening round of the “Super Hulk” tournament at DREAM.9, Gegard Mousasi revealed that he would be facing former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort at Affliction’s third show this August.
However one day later, Belfort says that the fight is far from being official. According to the Brazilian, Affliction officials would like the two fighters to meet at a catch-weight of 195 lbs given Mousasi’s recent urge to compete in higher weight classes, but Belfort is unwilling to stray from his new home at middleweight:
“Now I have to see if he’ll get down to middleweight”, said the Brazilian, who doesn’t consider going up to face Mousasi, who decided to move up after knocking Ronaldo Souza out. “Who defines this isn’t him. I fight at 185lbs. If they want to do this fight at 185lbs, it’s done, otherwise I see no option to go up, even because he isn’t a challenge, a man with much name. To go up, I don’t see him as a challenge. I want to fight with him in the weight he was champion (at Dream), then I think its worth”, decreed Vitor.
In response, Mousasi has told Sherdog.com that after reading Belfort’s comments to Tatame, he has no idea whether or not the fight will happen now. He also talks of another potential opponent should Belfort continue to refuse to sign the contract that was reportedly sent out to both fighters:
“I had the contract given to me for a catch-weight of 195 pounds to fight Vitor Belfort,” Mousasi told Sherdog.com exclusively after his speedy submission against Mark Hunt at Dream 9 on Monday. “I’ve signed it, but Tatame has a recent article as of last night, asking Vitor about the fight, and he was talking about ‘no challenge,’ and that he ‘wouldn’t go up a division.’ So I don’t know if the fight will happen.”
“So, maybe another opponent? There’s talk about [Renato] Babalu [Sobral], or maybe for a title, but it’s not for sure yet,” said Mousasi. “I thought the fight was confirmed, but it’s not confirmed by Belfort. I’m definitely going to fight [at Affliction 3], but the opponent, it’s not for sure yet. We’ll see.”
Will the fight actually take place? I sure hope so. With Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett, Tim Sylvia vs. Paul Buentello, and Jay Hieron vs. Paul Daley already being heavily rumored for the card, another fight of the caliber of Mousasi-Belfort would make the event that much more exciting.
Still, it’s looking pretty unlikely. Furthering the problems because the two sides is a story put out this morning by M-1 Global, which quotes Mousasi has saying that he is unable to make 185 lbs anymore, and “that’s final.” Do I buy that? Maybe, maybe not. Mousasi has put on a good amount of weight since declaring his intentions to compete at light heavyweight and heavyweight for the near future, but its also been less than a year since he last competed at 185 lbs.
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