DALLAS, Texas (105.3 THE FAN) - The two men headlining The UFC's "Fight Night" card this Friday night at Connecticut's Foxwoods Casino Resort have met before.
Back in 2008, on the other side of the world, middleweight contenders Gegard Mousasi and Jacare Souza fought in Japan's DREAM organization. Mousasi KO'ed Sousa with an up kick, and the fight lasted two minutes.
So why is there so much anticipation for this rematch, the kind that is usually reserved for a pay per view main event?
It's likely because of the records that the two fighters have amassed in the six years that have followed, as well as what's at stake for the winner.
Jacare has gone 11-1-1 NC, riding a four fight win streak in The UFC. Mousasi has gone 12-2-1, fighting competitively with former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and becoming the first person to submit Mark Munoz. With Sousa ranked 4th and Mousasi ranked 7th within The UFC's middleweight division, the winner could likely be next in line for a shot at the title.
Listen to Richard Hunter talk to Gegard Mousasi about the stakes for the winner of Friday's main event:
Richard Hunter with Gegard Mousasi
Mousasi readily acknowledges that his advantage will be in his striking, while Jacare will likely look to apply superior jiu jitsu by taking the fight to the ground. Mousasi himself has 12 submission victories, but to win over Jacare in that fashion would make him the first to ever do so. Nonetheless, Jacare will have to pass through Mousasi's pinpoint striking attack in order to close the distance and take him down.
The four-fight main card is supported by a pair of hard hitting heavyweight match ups that will include the return of knockout artist Alistair Overeem, as well as a lightweight attraction featuring Joe Lauzon, one of the organization's most prolific collectors of performance bonuses.
"UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Mousasi" airs Friday night at 9:00 pm CT on FOX Sports 1.
Follow Richard Hunter on Twitter for breaking news in mixed martial arts, as well as live tweets from UFC events.
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