The last time most MMA fans saw Gegard Mousasi in action, the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion was fighting Keith Jardine to a draw.
Mousasi, though, got back on track this past July when he stopped Hiroshi Izumi in Japan at a DREAM card via TKO.
The victory displayed a new-found approach for Mousasi (31-3-2), who is scheduled to fight for Strikeforce again in December. His opponent, though, has yet to be announced.
“I was just playing the MMA game,” said Mousasi recently on Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” Show. “I wasn’t there to just try to knock him out with every punch that I had. I think I performed much better in that one because I wasn’t looking for the knockout.
“With Jardine, I was just too aggressive, too much thinking of fighting and hurting him. I understand that’s not always the way to win because the guy that’s trying to win, trying to take you down, score his points, then he will win eventually. I think I just need to fight smarter.”
Mousasi continues to train for his fight on December 17, working harder on his takedown defense, which was exposed in a loss to Muhammed Lawal in early 2010 that snapped a 15-fight win streak.
“In training I’m do very well in wrestling,” he said. “It’s not like people can take me down in training, but it’s the way I fight in the cage that makes me vulnerable for the takedowns.”
With Dan Henderson signing with the UFC, the Strikeforce 205-pound title will likely become vacant, leaving Mousasi in a strong position to challenge for the title.