Former Dream Middleweight and Light Heavyweight, and Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion, Gegard Mousasi, returns Saturday Sept. 27 in Saitama, Japan, at UFC Fight Night 75, where he will look to build momentum on his best run in the UFC to date. Coming off wins over Dan Henderson and Costas Philippou, the Dutch kickboxer known as The Dreamcatcher will try to make it three in a row in the octagon, and put himself within striking range of title contention after two big setbacks to Lyoto Machida and Ronaldo Souza in the promotion.

Often criticized for his laid back counter-punching style in the cage/ring, Mousasi will face Ultimate Fighter runner-up Uriah Hall, another man with, shall we say, consistency problems in the UFC. After the hugely hyped prospect lost the TUF 17 finale to Kelvin Gastelum and followed that up by dropping a decision to John “Doomsday” Howard, it looked as though talk of Hall being a stone-cold killer in the cage was all that — talk. However, he bounced back with a three fight win streak before losing to Rafael Natal in May, and though he bounced back again with a win last month at UFC Fight Night 73 against the unknown Oluwale Bamgbose, that fight did little for him rankings-wise. He now looks to take the biggest scalp of his career against Mousasi, a fight with much higher visibility, and the co-main event of the evening.

Hall tends to rise to the occasion, but he has struggled thus far against some of the bigger names in his UFC run, and Mousasi will be the biggest. Mousasi, meanwhile, may find that his laid back style is both a blessing and a curse: Hall can be just as hesitant to engage, and if it goes to a decision, it might be anyone’s game.

With that in mind, here are the keys to victory for  Mousasi come Saturday night.

Utilize That Judo Background

Mousasi is a black belt in judo. Uriah Hall is a striker who doesn’t exactly like to fight off his back, and whose takedown defense (or lack thereof) has been exploited before. We’ve all seen what a solid judo game can do for fighters in the UFC, via the likes of Ronda Rousey and Hector Lombard. Mousasi would be wise to go that route if he feels he can avoid Hall’s flashier kicks and stay away from being on the wrong end of a highlight reel knockout.

Look For The Finish

No one has finished Uriah Hall in the UFC thus far. Only one man has finished him in his career to date: current UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman, back in 2010 under the Ring of Combat banner. That needs to change. All of Hall’s UFC losses have come via split decision, and it is an iffy prospect for a fighter with Mousasi’s style to let it head to the judges. This fight needs a finish.

Secure The Submission

Speaking of the finish: while Hall has never been subbed, Mousasi has an excellent submission game, which he utilized most recently in his 2014 victory of Mark Munoz. With twelve submission wins in his career, Mousasi has the clear edge in that department, so since they both have solid striking games (albeit very different styles), this might just be the key to winning the fight for the Dutch fighter.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.