Winner of two in a row -- including a first-round knockout over Dan Henderson -- Gegard Mousasi strongly believes he's close to a shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title.
Or, at the very least, he should earn the right to face a high-profile opponent if he manages to get through Uriah Hall this weekend (Sun., Sept 25, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 75 in Saitama, Japan.
As he recently told FOX Sports, even a bout against Michael Bisping sounds intriguing
"I was just happy that I'm fighting. I want to keep busy, I'm happy that I'm fighting in Japan. After this, if I win, of course, and I 100-percent believe I'm going to win, I hope to get a top guy. Maybe get a title shot. A guy like Michael Bisping, Vitor Belfort, Anderson Silva -- those are the guys that make sense. The other guys I've beaten. It would make sense to fight one of those guys after this. I like Vitor, I even trained with him, he's a nice guy. When I say I want to fight Vitor or Michael Bisping or Anderson Silva, it's because they are high-profile names. They are very high-ranked and they will get me a title shot. (Vitor Belfort) wants to get a title shot if he beats Dan Henderson, and that doesn't make any sense. He just lost to Chris Weidman and he says after he gets past Dan Henderson he wants another title shot. Come on. It's not possible. If I beat Uriah Hall that makes three wins in a row for me. If he beats Dan Henderson, that fight makes perfect sense."
As far as Hall is concerned, Mousasi says it doesn't matter if the best version of "Primetime" shows up in "The Land of the Rising Sun," he'll take him out all the same.
"I didn't see a lot of fights from him, but I've seen a couple. All I know is I need to perform and finish him. The only way he looks good in this fight is if I let him. I'm going to be aggressive, go forward all the time and he's not going to get comfortable and I'm not going to let him have his best performance. Whether he's the best Uriah or the worst, I'm going to get the job done. I am better overall. That's what I believe. If you look on paper, I'm the better guy. He has his kicks that I have to be careful around. He can sometimes be very aggressive and a punch on the chin can finish anyone. But I've fought so many good guys, so many big guys like Mark Hunt, who is a much better striker, so this is nothing I haven't already seen."
After a hot and cold start to his Octagon career, Gegard can earn himself his first three-fight win streak under the UFC banner.
In the process, he'll be making a strong case for a shot at the 185-pound belt. Though it's highly unlikely a win over Hall gets him to the big dance, a fight and subsequent win over someone like "The Phenom" should be enough to push him over the hump.
For more on UFC Fight Night 75 click here.