Things did not go right for Gegard Mousasi last night. In his fight with Lyoto Machida, Mousasi looked slow and confused for the five round affair. Machida pulled a Houdini and came out extremely aggressive and did not let off the gas the entire fight. Clearly, this was not the fight that Mousasi was training for.
There was a lot of talk building up to the fight that Mousasi did not have the style to beat Machida, and that turned out to be right. Mousasi is a decent striker with good wrestling; he is a well-rounded fighter. He is not necessarily aggressive, and he is not necessarily a counter-striker. We have seen that to beat Machida, one has to be aggressive, but careful. It seemed that Mousasi was a little too careful in the fight and that gave Machida the opportunity to get comfortable.
The biggest factor that went into the fight was the speed of Machida. There was a distinct advantage to striking speed that went to Machida. Every time that Machida threw a punch it was hitting Mousasi before he could get out of the way. The fight simply proved that Mousasi bit off a little more than he could chew.
The grappling, which was supposed to be the bread-and-butter of Mousasi, did not go his way either. He was not active off of his back; he did not threaten with any submissions, and just looked frustrated.
Yes, it was a big loss for Mousasi, but this could be a good thing. This will knock Mousasi down a peg or two and help him realize that there are holes in his game that he needs to fix. He can watch the fight, see where he went wrong and go fix those things. I have no doubt that Mousasi will bounce back with a win, but for now he needs to realize that he is not a contender.