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Affliction Trilogy

Affliction Trilogy Main Card

  • Fedor vs Josh Barnett
  • Gegard Mousasi vs Babalu
  • Paul Buentello vs Gilbert Yvel
  • Vitor Belfort vs Jorge Santiago

Under Card (HDNet 7:30 PM/ET (4:30 PM/PT)

  • Ben Rothwell vs Chase Gormley
  • Jay Hieron vs Paul "Semtex" Daly
  • Chris Horodecki vs Dan Lauzon
  • LC Davis vs Javier Vasquez
  • Deividas Taurosevicius vs Mark Hominick
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SEAL BEACH, California (July 7, 2009) — “All my focus is on Gegard Mousasi,” asserts current Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral (32-8-0) about his upcoming bout with the fast rising star. “He is a huge challenge for me. I look forward to stepping in there against a former Dream Middleweight Champion. This fight will be champion vs. champion.”

Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi (25-2-1) moved up in weight and will compete in a light middleweight bout against Sobral for Affliction M-1 Global’s “Trilogy” on August 1st at Honda Center in Anaheim. He has an impressive record, is currently ranked the #3 middleweight in the world by Sherdog and #7 middleweight by MMAWeekly, and made the majority of last year’s “Fighter of the Year” lists. Mousasi defeated Ronaldo “Jacare” de Souza for the Dream title last September and heavyweight Mark Hunt in the first round of DREAM’s highly-publicized Super-Hulk Tournament at Dream 9.

Mousasi is managed under the Red Devil International banner, the same association Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko fights under, and the two have worked out together. Fedor, whose headline fight with Josh Barnett for “Trilogy” promises to be a blockbuster match up, has influenced Mousasi in a number of ways. The young fighter even speaks in the same calm, collected manner as the heavyweight champ. “Training with him, that’s also one of the reasons I thought I can be a heavyweight,” says Mousasi of Fedor. “Standing next to Fedor, I feel so much bigger than him. When you train with him, he feels like a middleweight. He’s as strong as a heavyweight but as fast as a middleweight, so I think that makes him special. If I can take my speed as a middleweight, have that explosiveness and mobility and move up to heavyweight, I think that’s something a lot of them don’t have.”

And Mousasi has the same quiet confidence in his abilities as Fedor, too. “I feel always that I’m physically stronger than my opponents. I feel like my opponents can’t hurt me because I’m always comfortable in stand-up and there hasn’t been a fighter that’s ground-and-pounded me,” he says. “I feel like I can hurt them, but they can’t hurt me.”

Still, Mousasi anticipates that facing Sobral in the ring will be a tough trial of his skills. “It’s a good test for me, I’m training very hard for it,” says the Dutch-Armenian mixed martial artist. “Babalu is a big challenge. I like the way he fights—he fights to win. He’s a real fighter. I like fighters who come to fight. This fight will be and all out war. I think the fans will get an exciting fight.”

Sobral agrees. “Mousasi is a great match for me. (It’s) a great match for him, too. He’s a true champion. People might not know him in the U.S., but he’s a true fighter. I’m very impressed with him.”

Sobral will pose the biggest challenge for Mousasi on the ground, where his years of experience and expertise will be a threat. “I think he will be the better wrestler and Jiu-Jitsu guy,” says Mousasi. “But none of that matters—this is MMA.”

And what does Mousasi bring to the table to try to unhinge Sobral’s advantage on the ground? “He’s hungry to fight,” states Babalu, “That’s the big difference. We both have great styles, so this fight will come down to youth vs. experience. Mousasi is a young, hungry fighter. He wants it. Against him I have the experience and strategy and the fight’s in my backyard. That makes me think it’s equal. We will see which mindset wins out.”

“Even if he could take me down, I don’t see him (being able to) ground and pound me,” says Mousasi of Sobral. “I don’t see him getting mount or top position (or) that he can do any damage. I don’t see him submit(ting) me. So eventually it’ll be a stand up fight again. And sooner or later, I’ll catch him.” Mousasi, who is enjoying an incredible 12 victory winning streak will be making his American fight debut at “Trilogy”—a great opportunity to increase his fast growing fan base.

“I’m going to fight stand up. If I can take him down, I’ll take him down,” the six-foot-one, two-hundred and sixteen pound competitor asserts. “I feel strong, I feel explosive. I’m very confident. I think I can beat him.” presents Affliction M-1 Global “Trilogy” featuring Fedor vs. Barnett in association with Golden Boy Promotions and Donald J Trump. The show is separated into two live broadcasts on the same night—a one-hour special will air on HDNet starting at 7:30 PM/ET (4:30 PM/PT), followed by the sensational Pay-Per-View event, “Trilogy,” commencing at 9 PM/ET (6 PM/PT).

Tickets for Affliction M-1 Global’s “Trilogy,” ranging between $50.00 and $600.00, online at Ticketmaster