Blondes may have more fun, but UFC middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi is willing to find out if they also get money and title shots.
He’s at least willing to go to extremes to find out.
Mousasi scored his fifth straight victory on Saturday night with a second-round knockout of former champion Chris Weidman in Buffalo, N.Y.
While it was highly controversial, Mousasi knows even a clean finish of Weidman wouldn’t have been enough to earn him an opportunity to fight for the belt in a division where champion Michael Bisping is waiting on the return of Georges St. Pierre and top contender Yoel Romero is next in line.
The fight was the final one on Mousasi’s contract and he would like to cash in on his recent success whether it be in the UFC or elsewhere now that he is a free agent.
“I should get paid,” Mousasi said early Sunday morning at KeyBank Center. “I have defeated (Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza), defeated Mark Hunt, defeated Dan Henderson, defeated Vitor Belfort, defeated Weidman — all these guys I’ve defeated, they’re making more money than me. What is it? My nationality? Do you want me to die my hair blonde? What the (expletive)? I am one of the best and I should get paid as one of the best. So there’s nothing wrong with me. Just pay me what I’m worth. I’m a fair guy. I’m not asking more than what I’m worth. You think I can’t beat Bisping, I can’t talk like Bisping? What is it?”
If he does return to the UFC, a rematch with Weidman is certainly possible. While Weidman plans to appeal the result, he ultimately knows another fight against Mousasi is the most likely way to erase the loss from his resume.
The conclusion of the fight was baffling. Mousasi landed two knees as Weidman tried to touch his hands to the ground that would have been illegal under the old rules, and current rules in some jurisdictions, but were legal in New York. Referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the action apparently believing the knees weren’t acceptable. At some point, he decided they fell within the rules and ruled the fight a knockout win for Mousasi, prompting a furious reaction from Weidman and thunderous boos from the crowd.
“I have a lot of respect for Weidman and I don’t want to badmouth him,” Mousasi said. “But, if you want to play smart and take advantage of the rules, that’s not my fault.
“I don’t make the rules. It was legal and I felt he didn’t want to continue. I think everyone saw that. He didn’t want to continue. How is that my fault? I don’t give a (expletive). I won. He tried to play it smart, take advantage of the rules and get me disqualified. I think everyone saw that. Don’t blame me. That’s all I can say. I like the guy, he’s a tough opponent, but at the end of the day, he didn’t want to fight. I felt he was getting tired. He was fatiguing. So I feel like he was trying to find a way out, and he felt maybe with a disqualification, he could do that.”
Mousasi isn’t opposed to a rematch, but made it clear his eyes are on bigger things.
“If he wants his rematch, I can give it to him,” Mousasi said. “But at the end of the day, I’m chasing the title. If I fight (Michael) Bisping, I think I would be the favorite.”
Fear the reefer
UFC middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum’s first-round knockout of Vitor Belfort on March 11 in Brazil earned him a shot at former champion Anderson Silva. Gastelum’s activities before the fight have cost him that opportunity and perhaps and extended break.
The UFC pulled Gastelum from the scheduled UFC 212 fight against Silva last week when it was revealed he had been flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for a potential violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy after failing a post-fight drug test for marijuana following the win over Belfort.
USADA will handle the adjudication process. UFC officials are seeking a new opponent for Silva.
UFC on FOX 24
Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will attempt to match Silva’s record for consecutive title defenses when he meets Wilson Reis in the main event of UFC on Fox 24 card on Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri. A win would give Johnson 10 straight defenses of the 125-pound belt.
The main card, which also includes a women’s strawweight bout between Rose Namajunas and Michelle Waterson, begins at 5 p.m. Four fights from the preliminary card will also air on Fox at 3 p.m., headlined by Las Vegan Roy Nelson taking on heavyweight Alexander Volkov.
Contact Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.
Friday: Bellator 177 (Spike), Budapest, Hungary
Saturday: UFC on Fox 24 (Fox), Kansas City, Missouri
April 22: UFC Fight Night 108 (FS2/FS1), Nashville, Tennessee
May 13: UFC 211 (FS1/PPV), Dallas