|03-20-2010, 09:58 AM||#1|
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Mousasi Intends To Finalize Longterm Strikeforce Deal
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi met the press yesterday to promote his April 17 fight with Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal at "Strikeforce: Nashville" and said he is likely to sign a longterm deal with the promotion afterward.
"I have one more fight left on my contract, but we are planning to sign a new deal," Mousasi (28-2-1 MMA, 2-0 SF) told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) yesterday in Hollywood, Calif.
The Dutch-Armenian fighter was thought to have signed the extension not long before he split with M-1 Global and accepted the fight with Lawal – though the contract's "champion clause" extends his current deal for a year if he wins on April 17.
Sources close to Mousasi said the potential new deal will link him to Strikeforce for seven fights. That means a move to the world's most recognizable mixed-martial-arts promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
Mousasi, who owns a 15-fight win streak while competing from middleweight to heavyweight, said he is very happy with Strikeforce thus far.
"I'm being treated very well," he said. "I feel like I'm a part of the family, so there's no reason for me to go anywhere else. I fight also in DREAM, so I don't have any desires to go anywhere."
This past August, Mousasi inked a three-fight deal with Strikeforce after the collapse of Affliction Entertainment and quickly won the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion's 205-pound belt with a 60-second knockout of Renato "Babalu" Sobral. Three months later, he defeated Rameau Thierry Sokodjou by TKO on the CBS-televised "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers" event in a non-title fight.
Mousasi busied himself even more this past August when he signed a four-fight deal with DREAM and knocked out Gary Goodrige at "K-1 Dynamite!! 2009" in his first contractual obligation.
A little more than a month after "Strikeforce: Nashville," Mousasi is expected to participate in DREAM's light-heavyweight tournament, which begins May 30 at DREAM.15, though an opponent has not been named. He is unconcerned about the quick turnaround between fights.
"I like to keep busy," Mousasi said. "I'm in very good shape. I don't know why (I should) stop for two months and go back training to be in good shape. If I'm in good shape, I'm going to be in good shape the whole year.
"For next year, I want to take it easy; (fighting) three times a year is good."
In an earlier interview with MMAjunkie.com, the 24-year-old Mousasi said he plans to move to the heavyweight division within three years and wants to retire from fighting at age 30.
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