Gegard Mousasi was at or near the top of everyone's short list for rising MMA stars in 2010. Oopsies. Looks like that short list just got a little shorter.
Offering no takedown defense and seemingly way too relaxed for a championship bout, Mousasi lost his Strikeforce light heavyweight title to King Mo Lawal in Nashville on Saturday night. Lawal won the unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring it 49-45. Lawal won Rounds 1, 3, 4 and 5, while Mousasi won Round 2 and lost a point in Round 5. Fightin' Words scored the bout the same way.
"Man, only thing going through my mind right now is we're on CBS, y'all need to go ahead and get me on CSI," said Lawal, who landed nine of his 12 takedown attempts.
Lawal, in just his seventh professional bout, dominated Mousasi (28-3-1) with takedown after takedown after takedown. He ate a lot of shots from Mousasi when on the ground, but Lawal (7-0) never stopped being the aggressor and never stopped dominating the easy-does-it Mousasi.
Below is the round-by-round reactionary analysis as it happened:
Lawal was the aggressor in the first two minutes of the round, landing punches and getting the takedown. He kept Mousasi on the ground and pinned near the cage. Mousasi, comfortable on his back, kept trying to land upkicks, but that's not going to win him the round unless he connects and knocks Lawal out. (He's done it before, by the way).
Mousasi got back to his feet with a minute left and landed a few strikes before Lawal took him down again with about 30 seconds left.
Lawal opened with another takedown, his third of the bout. With Lawal in Mousasi's guard, the champ landed a series of head strikes. Lawal ate them with his face, and with his takedown skills, needs to learn how not to get blasted in the face so much when posturing up.
Mousasi, despite being in guard for nearly the entire round, was the more active fighter, teeing off on Lawal.
Lawal looks like he's running on fumes. Clearly all the shots he absorbed on the ground took their toll. Lawal was throwing a lot of punches early then took Mousasi to the ground again. Probably not the best move since he can't appear to pass guard or defend shots.
After the takedown, Lawal controlled the round, keeping Mousasi pinned near the cage and prevented those strikes and upkicks. Probably Lawal's best round.
Mousasi ate two strikes then got taken down again, with ease, by Lawal. Seems someone in Lawal's corner taught him about wrist control when on the ground. With 2:16 left, referee "Big" John McCarthy stood the fighters up. After another takedown of Mousasi, Lawal went to side control, but he didn't do too much to score points. Still, he controlled the action, so we're scoring this round for Lawal as well. On the Fightin' Words scorecard, Lawal is up 3-1.
Surprise, surprise, Lawal opens with another double-leg takedown of Mousasi. At 2:57, time is called as Mousasi lands a kick from his back to a grounded Lawal. That cost him a point on the scorecard, giving Mousasi exactly 177 seconds to win by submission or KO.
That one-point deduction seemed to wake up Mousasi, who is throwing hammer fists, backhand slaps and anything else he can think of to win the fight. Lawal, his left eye nearly swollen shut is absorbing them.
Mousasi got back to his feet with about 1:35 left, but was taken down 22 seconds left via, yep, you guessed it, a double-leg. Just for fun, Lawal added another takedown in the final 10 seconds.
PHOTOS: Strikeforce Nashville
Video from Showtime Sports