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Strikeforce Preview: Gegard Mousasi vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou

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Perhaps no one burst on the national scene quicker than Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. After suffering the first loss of his career to Glover Teixeira, Sokoudjou when on to dispatch two top ten light heavyweight fighters in less than 2 minutes while fighting in PRIDE. The UFC purchased PRIDE and obtained Sokoudjou's services to make his UFC debut against Lyoto Machida at UFC 79. However, the future UFC light heavyweight champion made quick work of Sokoudjou and exposed a huge weakness in his ground game. Sokoudjou is a physical specimen. He's a big light heavyweight, explosive with good standup skills, and has knockout power. However, he's shown that if you can weather his storm early on, he'll begin to fade the longer the fight goes on. Also, despite having a decorated background in Judo, Sokoudjou's skills on the ground are clearly lacking. Having been submitted with relative ease against Lyoto Machida and former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Babalu Sobral. If he wants to win against Mousasi, he'll need to come out with guns blazing.

Gegard Mousasi is similar to Sokoudjou in that he has gained popularity fairly quickly after fighting in relative obscurity for much of his early career. He rose to prominence quickly among hardcore fans after winning the DREAM Middleweight GP in 2008. However, he decided to move up in weight to challenge himself, and submitted super heavyweight Mark Hunt at DREAM 9. In his next fight, Mouasasi would take on the UFC veteran and Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Babalu Sobral. Mousasi blitzed Sobral in exactly one minute to become the new Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. Mousasi is a well rounded mixed martial artist. He can win the fight standing or on the ground and is very calm during the fight. Mousasi will need to weather Sokoudjou's early onslaught and then start picking him a part, or take him down and submit him.

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