Amsterdam, Holland – For the past three years, Gewik Mousasi, older brother of former DREAM middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, has focused on becoming one of Holland’s best MMA trainers. Most recently, Mousasi has served as a coach for Team Benelux in the “M-1 Challenge Presented by Affliction.”
However, on Saturday, Aug. 15 at Studio 22 in Hilversum, Holland (just outside of Amsterdam), Gewik will take on the unique role of player-coach as he returns to active competition as the heavyweight representative for Benelux when it faces Group C rival USA East. For those unable to attend live, Mousasi’s fight will be televised live during M-1Global.com’s live two-day Internet PPV stream (not available in the U.S. or Korea).
For Mousasi, it will be his first bout since a co-promoted M-1 and MFC show in April of 2006 featuring Russian fighters taking on European fighters. During the show, Mousasi lost his match against Besike Gerinava. The defeat ended a four fight win streak that included a notable win over current Team Finland heavyweight Toni Valtonen.
A submission specialist, Mousasi is answering the call to fight due to Jessie Gibbs, Benelux’s regular heavyweight, being slated to fight Rob Broughton on the undercard of Affliction and M-1’s “Trilogy” pay-per-view event on Aug. 1 in Anaheim, Calif. In stepping in for Gibbs, Mousasi will look to help lead his team to victory on its home turf and spoil USA East’s hopes of qualifying for the 2009 M-1 Challenge post-season.
While USA East works to finalize its roster for Aug. 15, Team Benelux has submitted its full lineup to M-1 Challenge officials. In addition to Mousasi, lightweight Danny van Bergen, welterweight Raymond Jarman, middleweight Richard Plug, and light heavyweight Jason Jones are all slated to compete for Benelux.
Jarman will be fighting in the M-1 Challenge for the first time since his devastating knockout victory in Sau Paulo, Brazil this past May in which he dropped Bulgaria’s Ivan Ivanov just 35 seconds into their bout. The quick KO earned Jarman “Knockout of the Night” honors.
Van Bergen and Jones also competed for Benelux on the same show, but suffered difficult losses. After recording a unanimous decision victory over Finland’s Juha-Pekka Vainikainen during the M-1 Challenge ’09 season opener this past February, van Bergen lost via submission to Yanko Yanev in Brazil. Meanwhile, Jones is on the comeback trail after suffering consecutive losses in ’09 following a 2008 season in which he established himself as one of the M-1 Challenge’s first breakout stars.
In addition to Mousasi’s return after an extended absence from competition, Plug, 8-4-1, will be fighting for the first time since 2004. An assistant trainer at M-1’s training facility in Amsterdam, Plug was recently added to the Benelux roster as a replacement for Danny Smit.
The best-of-five series between USA East and Benelux will serve as the headlining team challenge of a 15-bout card that will kick off a two-day “MMA Extravaganza” in Holland that will feature a total of 30 M-1 Challenge bouts from Aug. 15-16. Tickets are now available at the official website for M-1, www.M-1Global.com.