After fighting with a knee injury in his bout against Ilir Latifi at UFC on FUEL TV 9, Gegard Mousasi's return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon will have to wait a little bit longer as he revealed on "The MMA Hour" that he could be out until early 2014.
And when he's ready and able, "The Dreamcatcher" plans to return to middleweight.
Already dropping the weight slowly to make the 185-pound cut, Mousasi says the much-desired bout he lobbied for against Vitor Belfort isn't something he feels will happen, seeing as how "The Phenom" is lined up to face Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32 on Nov. 9, 2013 in Goiania, Brazil.
Nevertheless, the goal of winning the division title remains the same for Gegard and fighting a top three "famous" guy next is what he says will help him get closer to reaching his objective.
"I think he's (Vitor) the number one guy, especially after these two impressive wins. That's the guy you want to fight. I like him, I like Vitor Belfort he's a nice guy and I have nothing against him. I wanted to go to a title shot and I believed if I fight him that would get me a little closer to my goal. That's it, nothing less. I'm injured, he's fighting Dan Henderson so it's not going to happen anymore. I'm focused on coming back and fighting some guy in the top three or who is famous and who people think is good."
First things first, however, as the former DREAM middleweight champ is finishing up his rehab for a knee injury and says while he may be ready to return by the end of this year, he likely won't be fighting until next year due to the fact that this is the second time he has suffered the same injury.
"December is a possibility, but this is the second time, so we have to be much more careful. Maybe I'm going to take a little bit longer before I step into the cage. The recovery is going well, the knee feels very stable. That's not a problem. But, just because it happened twice you are more careful. If not December, then January or February."
Despite a bum knee, the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion managed to get a unanimous decision victory over "The Sledgehammer," who was Alexander Gustafsson's replacement after "The Mauler" was forced out of the fight against Gegard due to a cut above his left eye he suffered in training, and collected his sixth straight win at 205 pounds.
While he found much success at light heavyweight, Gegard's next fight will indeed go down at middleweight, so long as a "famous guy" who is ranked in the top three is available.
From the looks of it, a rematch against Ronaldo Souza, who is fresh off a first-round destruction of Yushin Okami at UFC Fight Night 28, fits the bill perfectly.