Mousasi: MMA “Is Just A Job For Me”
Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi does not see MMA as a passion project, an art, or what he was “born to do.” he sees it just as his job.
“I’m fighting to get paid,” Mousasi told MMAFighting . “I’m not doing this because I love the sport so much. I’m not a crazy person. The motivation if I beat these guys, if I keep winning, my paycheck will go up eventually after my contract is done. That’s the motivation for me. It’s my job.
“The better you do, the more you make. It’s the same for a doctor or lawyer. If you’re a better lawyer, you’re going to make more money. That’s what I’m trying to do. I want to be the best fighter that I can be to beat these guys and then I get a better contract. That’s the whole thing that keeps me going. Fighting is not my life.”
The payday was the key motivator for Mousasi’s defense of the middleweight title against Rory MacDonald earlier this year, and the same for his interest in moving up to light heavyweight to fight current 205 pound champion Ryan Bader, or even moving down to welterweight.
“They wanted to make the Ryan Bader fight before [Rafael] Lovato and I said fine, pay me more. I’ve said to them, I will go to welterweight, pay me more,” Mousasi said. “If they don’t want to pay me more, I’m fine. I don’t need to do crazy stuff. If I go down [to welterweight], it’s going to take a lot of crazy stuff, a lot of energy out of me. If I go up, I’m going to be facing a bigger, stronger wrestler guy that’s not particularly a good style matchup for me but I’m willing to fight anybody.
“Like I said, I’m not doing it for fun. I’m doing it because I get paid. If they wanted to have a big super fight, that’s fine, pay me more. If not, I’m fine. I’ll stay at middleweight and I’ll do my thing.”
“I got three fights on my contract. I want to win them, I want to finish them,” Mousasi explained ahead of his title defense against Rafael Lovato Jr. “I made my money with good investments, I’m going to make maybe $1 million a year just with my real estate. So for me to go and say I’ll continue fighting, I don’t need to do it. If they come and say ‘we’ll pay you this much to come and fight’ then sure why not. I feel like I’m in my prime. It’s not like I’m losing, and I’m just going in there to get paid.
“It all depends on payments, it all depends on the results of the fight, it all depends on my injuries. This stuff is not fun for me anymore. It’s just my work. The better I work, the more they pay me.”
Speaking of getting paid, when analyzing the people holding the 185 pound title across the street at the UFC, he thinks he’d have a shot at winning, but refused to call himself the “best” middleweight.
“Listen, if I fought Israel [Adesanya] or I fought [Robert] Whittaker, those matchups are actually really good for me, style wise. So obviously I feel I would have a great chance of winning,” Mousasi stated when speaking about the two current middleweight champions in the UFC. “I don’t care if they say ‘best middleweight’ because the best guys lose also. I’m not in that to be the best. On June 22 I have to be the best and I have to beat Lovato and then whoever they put in front of me the next time. The next day, someone else can be better than me. Anyone can be beaten.
“If I lose my next fight, you will see cockroaches come out of the ground and say ‘see I told you he would lose’. That’s how people work. So why would I put that pressure on myself when it really doesn’t matter to say ‘I’m the greatest, I’m the best’, I don’t need that s—t. It’s just a job for me