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UFC 204: 'Underrated' Gegard Mousasi says win over Vitor Belfort gets him nowhere

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Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

For the longest time, Gegard Mousasi's No. 1 target opponent was Vitor Belfort. It's a fight that almost came to be under the now-defunct Affliction banner in 2009. At the time, Belfort was in the midst of a five-fight win streak, and his name and popularity still carried weight.

And while that may still be the case, the win streak is non-existent, as Vitor has lost two of his last three inside the Octagon. Still, that didn't stop Gegard from pursuing the fight to settle unfinished business. That said, "The Dreamcatcher" knows the Vitor of yesterday is not the same as today -- in more ways the one -- and a win over won't get him where he wants to be just yet, as far as rankings and title shots are concerned.

His explains to MMA Junkie:

"(A win is) not going to get me nowhere. After this, (I'll need) another fight, but if some other guy wins, then maybe he's in line to fight. It's circumstances. You need a lot of good circumstances, luck and of course accomplishment to fight for the belt. You need a lot of factors. Just timing. The middleweight division is very tough. The whole scenario things have to go right before you go for the belt. I feel I've always been underrated. Still, let's say I beat Vitor Belfort. (I'm) still going to be underrated. Maybe a little bit less."

As far as Belfort is concerned, his value still carries weight, which is why so many want to fight him. Something Ronald Souza may disagree with, as his first-round drubbing over "The Phenom" a few months ago still wasn't good enough to warrant a shot at the middleweight title.

You can thank UFC's softer side for that.

Nevertheless, Gegard is very aware of the fact that an impressive win over Belfort won't mean a title shot will come knocking, which is why he is fully prepared to face someone else in hopes that another win finally gets him to the big dance.

MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 204 fight card on fight night (Sat., Oct. 8, 2016), starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under card bouts at 8 p.m. ET and then main card PPV, which is slated to begin at 10 p.m. ET.