Gegard Mousasi post ACL surgery, love to fight Jones

That's not Gegard Mousasi on the side of your milk carton. He isn't missing, and he hasn't gone anywhere (other than back home to the Netherlands).

In fact, he's been keeping pretty busy following his December unanimous-decision win over Ovince St. Preux at "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal."

Busy is one thing. Productive is a whole other animal.

Training, waiting on opponents, getting pushback attempting to box, and trying to stay healthy is how the 26-year-old Dutch-Armenian fighter has filled his days.

And, of course, then he did get injured. Big time.

Mousasi (32-3-2 MMA, 3-1-1 SF) tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and was forced to undergo surgery to repair it in March. The news of his setback, however, has just now started to permeate throughout MMA media circles.

Why did it take so long for information to travel in the "information age?"

"No one asked," the mild-mannered Mousasi said jokingly. "But the operation was successful. The recovery is doing very well. I will be back 100 percent again, but it will just take time."

Following his win over St. Preux, Mousasi appeared headed for sunshine and butterflies. Or so he thought.

"I had one fight left (on my Strikeforce contract)," he said. "Then I was hoping maybe to go to the UFC after that, but then they offered me – they said we're going to give you a new contract. So I signed for another six fights. Now I have a six-, seven-fight deal, I believe, in Strikeforce."

Why not push harder to get into the UFC?

"They said the Strikeforce fighters were going to stay with Strikeforce," Mousasi said. "And that's the thing that it was, so we signed again."

The new contract also put to bed the idea of him attempting to qualify as a boxer for the 2012 Summer Olympic in London.

Since 1904 there have only been six Dutch medalists in boxing and one gold medal winner, featherweight Lambertus "Bep" van Klaveren in 1928.

Mousasi began boxing at the age of 15 and was an amateur champion by 16. Competing in the Olympics had always been in the back of his mind throughout his combat-sports career.

"I think I would have had a chance (to make the Olympic team)," Mousasi said. "I don't think my chances would have been very high, but I believed in myself, and I train with Olympic trainers from Holland, and they said there's definitely potential. (With) those things I experienced, I thought maybe it was possible, but (there's) no doubt it would have been very difficult.

"It would have been nice. But there's nothing wrong with (me) focused just on MMA."

His attention turned to a bout with Mike Kyle at "Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Tate," but Kyle was eventually forced to withdraw from the March fight due to injury.

"I had a fight against him a year ago," Mousasi said. "He canceled it twice, I believe. Then I had a fight with him this year (in March). He got injured. And then they said we're going to postpone the fight, that we're going to fight two months later. But then I got injured myself. Then I couldn't fight him."

Kyle is finally healthy. Mousasi clearly is not. Rehabilitation will be his only battle for the foreseeable future. He's targeting a November return if all goes according to plan.

And when he does return to the fray later this year, he'll likely be walking into an uncertain landscape revolving around whether or not Strikeforce will continue to exist in 2013. If it ceases, there's a great chance Mousasi will make the seamless transition over to the UFC, which is his final frontier.

Mousasi has already won just about every major title in MMA sans UFC gold. He owns belts from Strikeforce, DREAM and Cage Warriors. The man currently protecting the UFC throne is none other than Jon Jones, author of three consecutive dominant title defenses.

A lot would have to happen for Mousasi to challenge for a UFC title, but it's not impossible. And if Jones is still king when the time comes, Mousasi is confident in his abilities to be able to go out and tip over the apple cart.

"I'm not afraid of fighting anybody because I never got hurt in any fight – kickboxing, boxing, MMA," he said. "I may have lost a fight, but I've never been hurt in a fight. I'm always confident that whatever happens, I got my chance. And I know I have a good punch, so I never doubt myself that I can win a fight or not.

"I'd love to fight him."


Source: MMAJunkie

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