What’s better than one fighter angling for a spot in the UFC? Getting a fight between two fighters angling to get in the UFC, which is what Mike Kyle and Gegard Mousasi are essentially doing at this point, as they have to show something here to really guarantee a spot in the UFC.
Fight breakdown – Mike Kyle is Seth Petruzelli but without the colored hair. He’s been around for a while and is too small to fight at heavyweight but not athletic enough to survive in the deep waters of light heavyweight. If there was a cruiserweight division in MMA he could tread water there, of course, but right now there isn’t and he’s stuck in that middle ground. And Mousasi is a middleweight who doesn’t like cutting weight, or really training hard, thus he has gotten by on sheer talent at 205 when with a some disciple he could be a first rate middleweight. And both fight fairly similarly.
Both guys come out with fairly similar games. Kyle’s a big, tough slugger who’s held his own against the biggest guys in the division. He’s got some power in the division but he doesn’t quite have the athletic ability to match. He fights out of a good, tough wrestling camp at AKA as well so his TDD has to be solid to survive.
Mousasi is a first rate striker who’s had significant cardio issues in the past. He’s not one to look to get it to the ground; he won’t look for the takedown unless he has to. Look for Mousasi to try and finish it early as well; he’s claiming to have had a good camp and such but it’s like anything in MMA. Don’t believe it until you actually see it.
Why it matters – Mousasi thinks of himself as potentially entering the conversation of being an elite fighter. He wants Alexander Gustafsson and a spot in the UFC; a big win here and he might not get “The Mauler” in the cage but he could get an appointment against someone of note. Kyle is looking for a way back into the UFC. A big win here, especially by fashionable KO, puts him in the mix to get brought over.
Prediction – Mousasi
Tags: Mixed Martial Arts, Strikeforce (Marquardt vs. Saffiedine)