Wherever their careers go next, Gegard Mousasi and Ronaldo Souza will likely look back on their fight on Saturday night as something of a crossroad.
Forget taking a small step towards a middleweight title bout, a win on Saturday would mark a giant leap in the championship direction. A loss, and they’ll be on the outside looking in at the division’s top-5.
“I want to take the fight that’s going to get me a title shot,” Mousasi said. “My goal is to get the belt and the opponent doesn’t matter as long as it gets me closer to a title shot.
“I’m always getting the top-tier guys, so it’s good for me. It’s those fights that are going to get me that title shot.”
Mousasi and Souza have been walking along parallel tracks for most of their MMA careers.
They fought against one another in 2008 in a fight that ended with Mousasi landing a knockout up-kick from his back. It knocked Souza unconscious.