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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi hasn't fought since his December win over Ovince St-Preux, and there are multiple reasons for that. For starters, he was supposed to fight on the March card in Columbus, Ohio, but a fight with Mike Kyle fell through due to injury.
Then, he suffered a massive injury himself. Mousasi tore his ACL in March and had to undergo surgery to repair the injury, and now he's in the midst of rehab to make his return later this year. Why is this news just coming to light now, months later?
"No one asked," he joked in an interview with MMAjunkie.com. "But the operation was successful. The recovery is doing very well. I will be back 100 percent again, but it will just take time."
After defeating St-Preux in December, Mousasi was eying a move to the UFC in the near future. However, the decree then came down that Strikeforce's fighters would be staying in the organization, leading Mousasi and many others to resign with the organization.
"I had one fight left (on my Strikeforce contract). Then I was hoping maybe to go to the UFC after that, but then they offered me – they said we're going to give you a new contract. So I signed for another six fights. Now I have a six-, seven-fight deal, I believe, in Strikeforce."
"They said the Strikeforce fighters were going to stay with Strikeforce. And that's the thing that it was, so we signed again."
Mousasi will remain in Strikeforce for the time being, but his ultimate goal is to capture the UFC's Light Heavyweight Title. He's already earned gold in several promotions throughout his career, and would like to prove himself as the best in the world. That may entail a future fight with current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, and that's a matchup that Mousasi would embrace.
"I'm not afraid of fighting anybody because I never got hurt in any fight – kickboxing, boxing, MMA," he said. "I may have lost a fight, but I've never been hurt in a fight. I'm always confident that whatever happens, I got my chance. And I know I have a good punch, so I never doubt myself that I can win a fight or not."
"I'd love to fight him."
Penick's Analysis: A fight between Mousasi and Jones probably won't happen, because by the time Mousasi gets to the UFC and fights his way into contention, Jones is likely going to be a heavyweight. Still, a fight between the two could be very intriguing. Mousasi's weakness has been his wrestling, and that cost him the Strikeforce Title against "King Mo" Lawal, but he'd certainly provide a different style for Jones to face should that fight ever come to fruition. Still, it's highly unlikely that a fight between them ever happens. It's unfortunate that Mousasi got stuck in the grouping of fighters that were almost forced to resign with Strikeforce with no option for the UFC, as he'd have been a good addition to the UFC's roster, and there's not a ton of names for him to fight in Strikeforce right now. Still, with Zuffa re-upping with Showtime at least for this year, it was a necessity to make it happen, and he's in a different spot than a fighter like Gilbert Melendez, who re-signed with Strikeforce of his own volition before Zuffa purchased them last year.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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