Welcome to APEMAN, Gegard Mousasi
By Ben York
"It is not for show. It is not for attention or to impress those whose eyes are on me. This grind, this mountain I climb, it has never been about how I look to the world while doing it. This is a quest for a result, for a desired outcome. To win when it matters. You can take your flash, your insecurities that you veil with bravado, and you can keep them. I have not the time for the public production that everyone else endlessly displays day after day. And I have not the worry of other's opinions of me. This is a desire deep in me that I seek to fulfill. The recognition I seek is only found in the finish, not in the path I travel to it. My eyes are open and I see now the need for individuality in a crowd of clowns seeking applause. I will sweat and battle and fight and crawl far away from the lights, alone. Because in the end, this is all about SELF and never for the admiration of the masses."
APEMAN Gegard Mousasi gives zero fucks.
If we’re honest, that’s one of the highest compliments we could give anyone, and it’s deeply rooted in admiration.
In an age where athletes consciously present themselves with differing personal and public personas, Mousasi couldn’t care less what people think of him. What you see is what you get.
And we freakin’ love that.
Mousasi is a four-time World Champion with titles in DREAM, Cage Warriors and Strikeforce. Now with Bellator, Mousasi left the UFC as the No. 4-ranked middleweight in the world. In fact, he’s tallied over 50 professional MMA fights at just 32-years-old – an impossible thing to do if you don’t live and breathe the sport.
There are two things Mousasi doesn’t have: pretense and a filter. If he doesn’t like or respect you, he’ll let you know. Like APEMAN, Mousasi comes from an old-school line of thinking where respect is earned, not given.
In fact, his mentality is something we could all learn from. If someone doesn’t like you, that’s their problem; not yours.
Better said, he fights to be the best regardless of whomever is currently holding the belt – an innate desire that, sadly, is few and far between in MMA today.
Case in point: After he brilliantly knocked out Vitor Belfort in 2016, Mousasi finally had enough with the showmanship and glamour that has seemingly consumed the sport.
“[Conor] McGregor is good for the sport, but what is it?” he said. “You had Muhammad Ali. He was a hero. He did big things. But now you have (Floyd) Mayweather and McGregor. Everybody loves it. That sells. People are stupid. They don’t know who’s a real fighter. They just like to see expensive stuff on Instagram, probably. I don’t know.”
Ultimately, that’s what separates Mousasi from virtually every other mixed martial artist on the planet. If you spend a few minutes looking at Mousasi’s Instagram page, the most lavish and flashy photo is of him on a farm riding a lawnmower.
Another example – after his victorious Bellator debut, Mousasi had a rather … direct … message for his critics.
“He [Alexander Shlemenko] punched me right in the eye in the first minute so I was fighting on instinct, trying to survive,” Mousasi told MMAFighting.com. “I was fighting with one eye for almost three rounds so it didn’t go the way I wanted, but a win is a win. To the haters, they can suck it.
“I have a pretty long one, they can all get in line and suck it.”
If that’s not badass, we don’t know what is.
Welcome to the APEMAN family, Gegard.