Promoted from the FanPosts by Kid Nate.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com has reported through Gegard Mousasi's manager, Apy Echteld, that a matchup with former UFC/Affliction fighter Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou has been set for DREAM 9. M-1 Global has claimed the bout is still tentative:
Bourgas, Bulgaria - DREAM middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi will make his light heavyweight debut on May 25 at DREAM.9 vs. UFC and Affliction veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com originally reported the matchup as being finalized upon hearing the news Friday afternoon from Mousasi’s manager, Apy Echteld. However, additional sources within M-1 Global later informed the site that the Mousasi vs. Sokoudjou fight is still tentative.
Mousasi, 24-2-1, has not competed since winning the DREAM middleweight Grand Prix after defeating Ronald "Jacare" Souza during the finals on Sept. 23, 2008.
DREAM 9 has been set to take place on May 26th according to the TBS website, and it has been slotted in a Primetime television spot. This should bring even more big stars into the event and set up some potentially star-studded fights to help bolster ratings for DREAM.
Gegard Mousasi was on the list of many fans as vying for fighter of the year in 2008 after coming out of relative obscurity to defeating veteran Denis Kang, powerhouse puncher Melvin Manhoef, slick judoka Dong Sik Yoon, and BJJ expert and physically overpowering Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza all within the year. He has also made statements that he will eventually like to move up to Heavyweight
Sokoudjou is coming off tough losses to Renato "Babalu" Sobral, Luiz Arthur Cane, and Lyoto Machida during his time in the UFC and Affliction. Mostly overhyped due to his sudden upset wins over PRIDE veterans Ricardo Arona and Antonio "Minotoro" Nogueira, Sokoudjou has yet to pull the trigger in any of his fights, and his highly-touted ground presence by most of his training partners has yet to show itself in the cage.
Image courtesy of MMARoot
UPDATE (By Kid Nate): Wow if this turns out to be true -- and I see any number of ways it doesn't considering the lack of confirmation from Sokoudjou's camp and DREAM's track record of announcing fights that aren't signed (Frank Trigg anyone?) -- this is really bad decision making on the part of Sokoudjou's management. The guy could easily lose to Mousasi and fall to 5-5. If anyone was ever in desperate need of some tune-up fights its Sokoudjou. The guy is very talented, young, and unpolished. He needs a chance to grow and develop. He's already been thrown in at the deep end three times (in PRIDE, UFC and Affliction) and only managed to swim once.