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Gegard Mousasi Looks To Challenge Former Champions In UFC Debut

Gegard Mousasi (33-3-2) left the Strikeforce finale with his hand held high and now looks to join the UFC roster. The light heavyweight thinks it’s time to become a part of the largest MMA promotion on the planet and has already gone ahead and called out two top names in the division in Maurício “Shogun” Rua (21-7) and Lyoto Machida (18-3).

“I want to fight someone that people think is good and I think these match ups are more exciting than against some other opponents,” said Mousasi to MMA Fighting. “They’re top contenders, so I think fighting them would make sense for me the most so I can go earlier to the title shot.”

Rua and Machida are both former UFC light heavyweight champions. Rua made a name for himself in PRIDE where he went 12-1. Since he joined the UFC he hasn’t been able to gain much momentum and is at 5-5 under their name, despite winning gold. Machida took the title from Rua at UFC 133, but dropped it quickly to the current champion Jon Jones (17-1). After a 16-0 start for Machida, he has only gone2-3 in his recent outings.

Machida returns at UFC 157 to take on Dan Henderson (29-8) and Rua’s future is not known after Alexander Gustafsson (15-1) defeated him by decision in a title eliminator fight. Mousasi said he has no interest in fighting Gustafsson.

Mousasi has fought out of DREAM, PRIDE and Strikeforce where he found title runs. He won the light heavyweight championship in DREAM and Strikeforce. He is 20-1 since 2006 with his only loss being to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (8-1-1 NC) during his Strikeforce run. He is coming off a first round submission victory over UFC veteran Mike Kyle (19-9-1-2 NC) at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine.

The UFC has not made an official announcement regarding Mousasi’s future.