When it was announced that Michael Bisping was ow set for his long awaited shot at Anderson Silva, sans title, no one lost out on that deal more than Gegard Mousasi. The former two divisional top ten fighter had hit rough times as of late with trading wins and losses, and a win over Bisping, while not the biggest accomplishment, still means quite a bit when it comes to fighting in the Octagon. Man people have put themselves in contention for the title with a win over Bisping. Unfortunately, the both disappeared when the aforementioned fight was made and Mousasi was left without an opponent.
As luck would have it, Mousasi now gets to face off with a former title challenger and a former opponent of Bisping. Thales Leites first entered the UFC nearly ten years ago at the age of 34. While losing his first fight, he went on to when five straight which lead to a title shot. He promptly lost and another loss sent him out of the UFC. Over the next three years, he went 6-1 with four submission victories and also avenged his only loss in that span. That lead him back to the UFC where he picked up two wins to his similar boring fashion he had showed outside the UFC. Luckily all that changed when he followed that up with two TKO victories and a submission victory. His biggest win in that span was a knockout of GSP’s training partner, Francis Carmon. Unfortunately after five straight wins in the UFC, he fell to Bisping in a fight many people believed he had won.
Mousasi finds himself on tougher times. He entered the UFC with only one loss in the past seven years and was set to make his debut against Alexander Gustfasson, but an injury had him fighting a newcomer to the promotion. He announced after the win he was injured and had to take nearly a year off. He returned at 185, where many believed he could be champion, but lost a decision to former Light-Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida who decided to make 185 his new home. Wins over Mark Munoz and Dan Henderson sandwiched around a rematch loss to Jacare. Another win over Costas Phillippou looked to have Mousasi on the right track, but then a crushing loss to Uriah Hall, who was a late replacement, nearly sent him to obscurity.
A win in this fight can put either into contention once again, but a loss will send the either one of them to nearly the back of the line. At 34, Leites has less time left than Mousasi, 30, but Mousasi does have a lot of wear and tear from a an over 60+ fight career spanning three different fighting disciplines. Who do you think wins this pivotal matchup in the Middleweight division?