UFC on FUEL TV 9: Light heavyweight fight - Gegard Mousasi (-1300) vs. Ilir Latifi (+700)
The main event of UFC on FUEL TV 9 is a mismatch of epic proportions as former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi takes on Ilir Latifi, who is an injury replacement for Alexander Gustafsson, in a three-round light heavyweight bout. Mousasi is currently a massive -1300 favorite, while the comeback on Latifi is at +700.
Mousasi (33-3-2) is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and enters the UFC after a fantastic 4-1-1 run in Strikeforce, including a win over Renato Babalu Sobral that netted him the collapsed promotions light heavyweight strap. The 27-year-old Mousasi, who holds notable career victories over Mark Hunt, Ronaldo Jacare Souza, and Hector Lombard is talented everywhere, with big knockout power and submissions for days. However, the one knock on him is that he’s been lazy and hasn’t worked hard, as well as the fact he’s always fought undersized in the 205-pound division. But in this particular matchup against Latifi those things shouldn’t really matter, because his opponent is taking this fight on four days of notice. There is no excuse for Mousasi to lose this fight, so look for him to implement this gameplan right off the opening bell and try to score an early stoppage victory.
Latifi (7-2) is a complete unknown and is making his UFC debut on short notice after Gustafsson was forced out with a cut above his eye. Latifi is his training partner and while he might be a decent fighter himself, he’s nowhere near as talented as Gustafsson is and that’s the guy that Mousasi has been training for the last three months. The 29-year-old Latifi has to make this fight dirty if he’s going to pull off the giant upset. He needs to use his wrestling and bulk on Mousasi and wear him down, because if he stays standing he’ll likely get knocked out, and if he’s not careful on the ground he could get submitted.
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