Gegard Mousasi has never been one to pump his own tires – until now.

Following his 85-second TKO dismantling of Austin Vanderford (11-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) in the Bellator 275 main event Friday, Mousasi (49-7-2 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) called himself “the best middleweight” in the world during his in-cage interview, something he reiterated at a post-fight news conference.

“I was hungry,” Mousasi said. “I was more determined than him and I’m in my prime. I feel I’m the best middleweight in the world right now. I never said that because I never thought that I was the best. But I told everyone this training camp, that this day, I was the best middleweight. I don’t know about tomorrow, but today I was the best.”

While he got a kick out of the speculation as to what will happen if he ever faces current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, Mousasi realizes the odds of it becoming a reality are slim with the two being in different promotions.

“I train with guys who fought Israel Adesanya,” Mousasi said. “They did well against Israel Adesanya or won, and I’m better than them in the stand-up. So of course, I feel like I have a great chance. I can win. But talking about it is like talking about, ‘I want to be Santa Claus.’ It’s not possible.”

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There isn’t an obvious, designated choice for Mousasi’s next foe, but he wants to fight three times total in 2022. Healthy and unscathed coming out of Bellator 275, Mousasi is eager to welcome the next challenger and prove once again that there are levels to the game.

“Middle of the year, I’m going to fight again,” Mousasi said. “Then, at the end of the year, I’m going to fight again. I’m going to sit down and evaluate where my career is going. Then, I’m going to decide if I’m going to continue or not. I’ll have two more fights that I’ll concentrate on. … Those guys who think they can beat me, they have something coming. I’m more confident than ever. Anyone who comes, they’re going to get it.”

Bellator 275 took place Friday at 3Arena in Dublin.

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