Taking the less-is-more approach, Gegard Mousasi was sure to avoid over-training for Bellator 228 opponent Lyoto Machida.
Los Angeles, CA — Calling Lyoto Machida a point fighter, Gegard Mousasi admitted at the Bellator 228 open workouts on Wednesday that he trained less for his rematch with the former UFC champ.
The pair first met in 2014, with Machida earning a unanimous decision. There’s a method to Mousasi’s madness, however. So while he says that he was “less disciplined for this training camp,” Gegard Mousasi was sure to tack on a rider: “I’m going to kick his ass anyway.”
Expanding on the training topic, Mousasi revealed that “I didn’t diet as much, I didn’t train as much. Last time I was over-trained, but [this was] two training camps right behind each other.”
Mousasi last fought in June, losing the Bellator middleweight championship to Rafael Lovato Jr. With September just a few months later, he was basically already in fight shape. “I’m in shape don’t get me wrong,” he assured reporters including Cageside Press Wednesday. “It’s not like I eat french fries. A little bit, not that much.”
Assessing his opponent, Mousasi (45–7–2) said that “I think he expects the same fighter. The hunger is there. The will is there. That’s all I need, and technique. I fought in the wrong weight, last time. I learned from it. Those two together, I’m going to win.”
As for what he wants if the win does come his way, “it’s a final fight at middleweight, rematch [with Lovato Jr.]. And then after that, again, dream of bigger things.”
Bigger things might actually mean smaller. As in a lower weight class. Welterweight. “If Douglas Lima wins, that would be a nice fight. But like I said I’m not there. First I have to beat Machida, then Lovato. Then I can dream of doing something special.”
“After these two fights, only fights that are going to put legacy behind [me],” are what Mousasi is interested in, he said. The frequent refrain from Gegard Mousasi during the open workouts was that he was looking to do “something special” moving forward. Defeating a former UFC light heavyweight champion would certainly be a step in the right direction.
Watch the full Bellator 228 open workout scrum with Gegard Mousasi above!