Esther Lin for Strikeforce
If we are to believe Gegard Mousasi, the Armenian has never really trained for a fight during his decade-long career up until his most recent training camp in preparations for Mike Kyle on Jan 12, 2013.
Gegard Mousasi is widely considered to be one of the most talented mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in the sport today.
Amassing an impressive 32-3-2 record, collecting the DREAM light heavyweight and Super Hulk Grand Prix titles to go along with the Strikeforce 205-pound belt, "The Dreamcatcher" has proven he has the chops to compete at any weight class.
He's notched victories against some top competition such as Ronaldo Souza, Mark Hunt, Ovince St. Preux, Denis Kang and Hector Lombard, just to name a few and has only lost once in the last six years, a decision loss to Muhammed Lawal in 2010.
Not bad, right?
Well, what if I were to tell you Mousasi defeated everyone (sans Lawal) in his path and obtained all of those world titles with less than stellar training methods and with no real coaches and sparring partners? Would you believe me or tell me to take a hike?
Maybe you'll believe Gegard himself, who revealed during his recent appearance on "The MMA Hour" that he's never really trained for a fight before in the past due to the lack of motivation:
"I was overstrained, not motivated, not training well. I think that had something to do with it. This year-layoff got me hungry again and I'm training really good now. I think, it was good (the layoff), I'm making it a positive thing. I was just fighting. I won the belt in DREAM, I won the belt in Strikeforce, every fight was just a fight, it wasn't something special, it just was getting in the ring and fighting. I didn't have a lot of motivation the last couple of years, but, I'm really excited to fight and with the idea after this fight maybe I can go to the UFC, so that is very motivating and I am training really well for this fight. Now, I have coaches and sparring partners. I am doing now everything right. Maybe this sounds weird, but, I don't believe I ever trained for a fight. Now, every day I am getting tired. I don't want to go to training. Back then, I used to run a little bit in the morning and do a little bit of sparring and when I would get tired, I would relax. Now, I have people that are pushing me every day and now I do feel like I am preparing for a fight. I f I go into this fight like how I am training now, I don't see how I can lose. I'm finally feeling that I finally training for a fight. I didn't know MMA fighting, was so difficult, training for a fight."
Having not competed in 2012 because of injuries, Gegard wasn't exactly struggling which would have forced him to make such a radical change. In fact, he is on a four fight win streak with a draw against Keith Jardine sandwiched in between.
He simply wasn't content with his output.
Jokingly saying he was "cheap," and didn't want to dish the money to pay for real coaches and sparring partners early in his career, Mousasi warns he is now a more dangerous fighter than he ever was before.
A Mousasi who is actually training can be bad news for Mike Kyle on Jan 12, 2013 and for the rest of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster once he makes the eventual switch. A roster which includes Alexander Gustafsson, whom Mousasi says he'd love to fight in the Octagon first, now that he's defeated Mauricio Rua, whom he had his eye on, previously.
What's your take on Gegard's revelation? Should the rest of the competition be a bit more worried, now?