Chalk it up to #ConorMcGregor or #ChaelSonnen, or whoever you'd like, but it seems that the UFC has been moving more and more towards a "squeakiest wheel gets the grease" policy in regards to its matchmaking these days.
If that sounds like a complaint, it's not, because if the UFC's new approach to matchmaking is going to spur fighters to speak their minds like Gegard Mousasi has been, then we're all for it.
Despite competing 48 times as a professional (an absolutely insane number given his 31 years of age) and holding titles in DREAM and #Strikeforce, Mousasi has always been something of an unknown to casual fans -- a steely-eyed, cold-blooded assassin who preferred to let his performances in the cage do his talking for him. Recently however, Mousasi has seemingly dropped the act in order to fit a career's worth of sh*ttalking into however many years he has left as a fighter, and the results have been incredible.
Following his win over Vitor Belfort at UFC 204, Mousasi called out middleweight champion Michael Bisping, saying he would "easily beat him" and "jab his face the whole night." He followed that up by going H.A.M. on an army of trolls during a Facebook live chat just a couple days ago, and then, he challenged Nick Diaz in what was likely the most epic tweet of his career.
Did Mousasi hit his head and develop the gift of gab overnight, or is there something else behind his highly-entertaining heel turn in recent weeks? Well, according to the man himself, Donald Trump is at least partly to blame (or thank).
Speaking with The Sun earlier this week, Mousasi implied that he was simply sick of giving the routine answers that "made everybody happy."
"They ask me [a question] and I just give my honest opinion," said Mousasi.
Before that, I would just try to give the answer that's 'correct.' I'm just saying what I'm thinking and people either love it or they hate it, but that's just me being more myself...I was politically correct and it got me nowhere. Why is Donald Trump [so popular] now? He's the worst candidate but people say 'we love his character.' We'll see how it goes.
While you could certainly argue that he might be taking the wrong lessons away from the political career of Trump, it's pretty evident that Mousasi 2.0 is becoming a big hit with fans.
And, now that he's making his voice heard, let's hope that Mousasi doesn't adhere too closely to the Trump school of thought on debating, or he's going to be out of a job by this time next week.