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It’s nonsense to call Rousey the greatest: UFC fighter Mousasi

SINGAPORE — Ronda Rousey may be the biggest and most bankable female star in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) , but her back-to-back losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes in the past 13 months have cast doubts on her return to the fighting cage.

SINGAPORE — Ronda Rousey may be the biggest and most bankable female star in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) , but her back-to-back losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes in the past 13 months have cast doubts on her return to the fighting cage.

UFC middleweight fighter Gegard Mousasi believes that Rousey’s time is over. Here in town to promote UFC Fight Night Singapore, the 31-year-old told TODAY in an interview: “I think she has a lot of money (Rousey boasts an estimated net worth of US$12 million (S$16.7m)) — she doesn’t need to fight.”

Ranked fourth in the UFC’s middleweight division, Mousasi also dismissed the hype surrounding mixed martial art’s (MMA) most well-known female athlete.

“She’s a good fighter, she has the mentality of a fighter, but she doesn’t have the skills of a stand-up fighter,” he added.

“How can the media make her one of the best fighters when she can’t even kick or punch? That’s like (tennis star) Serena Williams (playing) without a backhand. How do they make her the greatest fighter of all time?”

Clearly not one to mince his words, Mousasi also let rip at UFC’s other marquee name, lightweight champion Conor McGregor. The Irishman made headlines recently in a much-publicised move to take on boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather in the ring.

Calling it a publicity stunt, Mousasi said: “That’s a stupid fight ... it’s entertainment, nothing (to do with) sport.

“At the end of the day, it’s (about) money; everyone wants to make money, so he wants to make money, (and) people want to see the fight.”

The opinionated fighter, however, approves of the UFC’s renewed interest in Asia after a two-year absence — the past UFC fights in the region were held in 2015. With the UFC Fight Night Singapore bout featuring Holm and Bethe Correia set for June 17 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Mousasi believes this is the right time for the MMA promotion to make a comeback.

“I think (in) Asian culture … it (fighting) is very accepted and people respect it,” said the Dutchman, who was born in Iran to Armenian parents.

“If they put the time and effort (in expanding), it will be huge in Asia.”

Mousasi, who has fought in Japan and the Philippines, added: “The fans are behind you if you come and give your best ... I’ve always loved fighting in Asia. Will I come to Singapore? I hope so — maybe next year!”

Visit www.ufc.com/event/ufc-fight-night-singapore-2017 for more information

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