It's scary to think that through more than 30 professional wins, Gegard Mousasi hasn't even tapped into his real potential yet.
Despite picking up wins over some of the world's best at both middleweight and light heavyweight, Mousasi is the first to admit that in the past he's not been as serious about his training as he should have been.
But in the last year, with no fights on the horizon and healing up from various injuries, Mousasi has found a new fire lit inside of him, and he's hoping to unleash it at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine this weekend when he faces Mike Kyle.
“It was difficult, but it was also good because I was not motivated, and now I have that drive again. I really want to show everybody what I can do. That's a plus point and I'm focusing on that,” Mousasi told MMAWeekly Radio about the time off he's had lately.
“The training I'm doing now, I'm a lot more professional and I really had a good training camp. I had good trainers, good sparring partners, so everything fell in place. It wasn't like clowning around a lot so it gave me good motivation to show what I can really do.”
When he's on point, Mousasi remains one of the most dangerous fighters in the world at 205 pounds, and if his training really was less than the best before now, he could become an even bigger threat when he moves to the UFC.
With Strikeforce closing its doors after Saturday night's event, Mousasi now has a goal of debuting in the Octagon later this year and showing the world what he can do when fully prepared and motivated.
The only way to ensure a trip to the UFC, however, is to beat Mike Kyle this weekend.
“The main focus is actually this fight because you never know because you have to perform and I have to win. After that, I think going to the UFC is the plan, and after talking to my management it should be a done deal. First I have a fight with Strikeforce and that's the most important thing,” said Mousasi.
It's hard not to anticipate some of the potential match-ups for Mousasi in the UFC, and even he loves to hear fans theorizing and plotting out fights for him. There is a lot of talent in the UFC and Mousasi is ready to face all of them.
“I'm glad the fans are excited about the fights, especially stand-up fighters like Shogun (Rua), (Lyoto) Machida, or (Alexander) Gustafsson, I think those are fights that are going to be exciting,” Mousasi stated.
It's not enough though for Mousasi to just be another face in the crowd or an exciting fighter who goes through the ebb and flow of victories and defeats. No, Mousasi wants to be defined as a top contender and eventually a challenger to Jon Jones and the UFC light heavyweight title.
“That's my goal to show that I am in the top five or the top three (in the world),” Mousasi stated.
“I feel like I have the potential and with the right training and the right mentality I can do it, and I feel that way right now. January 12 is the date I will show it.”