Fresh off being crowned the Bellator MMA middleweight champion, Gegard Mousasi has already told fans he wants his first fight as the champion to be against Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald.
Mousasi took on Rafael Carvalho at Bellator 200 on Friday, winning impressively with a first-round TKO. During the post-fight interview, Mousasi called out MacDonald and “The Red King” wasted no time to respond by congratulating the newly crowned champion and tagging Bellator officials on Twitter, requesting the fight.
@mousasi_mma congratulations on you dominant victory, @ScottCoker @rich_chou i know you wanted a title defense from me before challenging at middle weight. but myself vs @mousasi_mma is the fight to make right now, so lets make this happen!?— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) May 25, 2018
MacDonald and Mousasi were both guests on “The MMA Hour” Monday and MacDonald continued the campaign to get the fight signed by asking fans to “put pressure” on Bellator officials. Mousasi reiterated MacDonald’s statement by saying a matchup against Bellator’s welterweight champion is his No. 1 preference.
“I think Rory is a big name. It’s a fight that everyone wants to see. I want to make the fight, I think Rory wants to make the fight,” Mousasi said on The MMA Hour. “Rory started with wanting to come up in weight and we like the fight, so he said it and we replied a hundred times, and now, I don’t know, it’s not up to me. Like Rory said, it’s up to Bellator.”
Mousasi and MacDonald crossed paths on Tuesday’s show and MacDonald congratulated Mousasi on his recent win and agreed a super fight between the champions is what they want next.
After their chat on the show, Mousasi jokingly declared himself “the bad guy” in their new rivalry, poking fun at the fact both fighters don’t talk much and are not known for their ability to sell fights:
“I thought I was boring, but Rory is more boring than me,” Mousasi said, laughing. “So one of us has to be the bad guy, and I will take that role, no problem. I will be the bad guy. You need rivalries, so I’m going to be the bad guy in this one and Rory can be the good guy. He’s Canadian anyway; they’re always so friendly, so I’m the bad guy.
“The way he was talking was pretty boring, don’t you think so?” Mousasi added. “I was like that a couple years ago, but now it’s the fun Mousasi out.”
Helwani questioned the size difference between the two, drawing a comparison to MacDonald’s long time teammate at Tristar Gym, Georges St. Pierre, who had previously fought his whole career as a welterweight and moved up to middleweight to challenge the much bigger Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight belt at UFC 217. St-Pierre was able to overcome the size difference using his technical and athletic abilities to his advantage to get Bisping down before eventually securing a choke to capture the title.
“Listen, I’m no Michael Bisping,” Mousasi said. “I know what GSP did, but believe me, I’m physically a lot stronger than Michael Bisping. Technically, I’m better. So it’s almost the same fight, GSP vs. Michael Bisping, but now it’s Rory against me. I think he doesn’t know. He’s a big welterweight, but still, he doesn’t have anything over me that I’m impressed by -- let’s say wrestling, or standup, or he doesn’t have the reach, speed, the striking. So I don’t know. I’ve trained with Douglas Lima, he’s a tough kid, but I could feel the weight difference.
“I don’t know if [MacDonald] thinks it’s easy, but he will feel it in the fight,” Mousasi added. “I feel like I’m one of the strong middleweights, physically. If they’re not on steroids, I’m physically one of the strongest.”