Gegard Mousasi recently appeared on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour, and discussed his fight Saturday with Lyoto Machida on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night 36.
Both fighters fought at 205 last year. UFC president Dana White said that with a win, Machida gets a title shot. Machida thinks that with a win, he does too.
"Sometimes I didn’t even need to cut weight, I was at 205," said Mousasi as transcribed by MMAFighting's Chuck Mindenhall. "The last fight I felt the size difference, so, being in the UFC, I want to go for the title shot, and I think the best way to get to the title is at middleweight."
"He is a very different fighter from a typical stand-up fighter, he’s more of a counter-puncher. But he comes he’s vulnerable for counter-punching himself.
"I understand better now how he fights. I would say he is much more of a smart fighter. He lures you in, he feints, so I studied him very well. I can deal with it."
"I’m getting the chance to fight Machida. I’m excited, you know, because maybe I can get a title shot after this. There’s not many contenders at middleweight at this moment I believe. This is a fight I must win. With that mentality I’m going to go into the fight. I’m more relaxed than I was a year ago."
"I heard from my manager that it could definitely be for the next No. 1 contender."
"You have to be smart and make no mistakes. He’s dangerous if you lose your control and you get too aggressive or leap into your punches. That’s when he’s most dangerous, so you have to fight smart."
"I think I’ll do fine. I did a lot of sparring for this fight, five rounds, five minutes per. I tried to replicate the fight. Of course, it’s going to be in Brazil with a hostile audience, but other than that I just need to be smart and keep my cool and everything will be just fine."
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