Gegard Mousasi is confident a win over former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida -- which goes down at UFC Fight Night 36 on Feb. 15, 2014, in Brazil -- will earn him a shot the promotion's middleweight strap.
That's what the "Dreamcatcher" told Ariel Helwani during his recent appearance on The MMA Hour. And according to Gegard, the fact that there aren't too many 185-pound contenders at the moment, might give him an edge.
"Getting the chance to fight Machida, I'm excited. Maybe I can get the chance to fight for the title after this because there is not many contenders at middleweight at this moment, I believe. So, at this moment, I'm more excited and this is a fight I cannot lose. I must win, and this is the mentality going into the fight."
Mousasi made his successful Octagon debut last year when he defeated Ilir Latifi at UFC on FUEL TV 9. A bout that came to fruition after Alexander Gustafsson -- Gegard's original opponent -- was forced out of the 205-pound scrap due to an eye injury.
The win gave Mousasi his fourth straight, making it 21 of 23 overall. However, going into a fight against "The Dragon" in his own backyard will prove to be Gegard's toughest test in the last three years.
As for Machida, he made a successful drop to 185 pounds by knocking out Mark Munoz in the very first round at UFC Fight Night 30 last October.
What say you, Maniacs, should the winner of this intriguing middleweight bout get the winner of the Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort Memorial Day Weekend title fight?