On Mondayís edition of the MMA Hour, Mousasi explained some of that frustration.
"Iíve got a lot of disappointment," he told Ariel Helwani. "I really wanted that [Gustafsson] fight. I think, even though I was injured I felt good going into the fight. I felt he was a taller guy but I could close the distance very well, and I thought I could even take him down. I had a good game plan in my head, but yeah, that happens and I had the knee injury -- itís all setbacks.
"I want to do MMA, I want to fight, and all I can do is wait and see how others do. Thatís the hardest part, not being able to compete. I just want to come back and start fighting and then I can feel good again."
Mousasi has been expressive in that desire on Twitter, where he has challenged Belfort to a fight at light heavyweight, middleweight or anything in between. Instead, the UFC opted to book Belfort against Dan Henderson in November at UFC Fight Night 32 in Brazil.
When asked why he'd targeted Belfort specifically, Mousasi said it was solely because of his place in the pecking order.
"I thought he was the No. 1 guy, especially after his two impressive wins [over Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold]," he said. "Thatís a guy you want to fight. I like him. I like Vitor Belfort. Heís a nice guy and I have nothing against him. But I want to go for the title shot and if I fight him and I win, that would get me a little bit closer to my goal. Thatís it, nothing less.
"But heís got his fight with Dan Henderson, and itís not going to happen any more. So Iím just coming back and fighting some guy who is top three or who is famous who people think is good."
Mousasi was presented with a fight against Belfort a few years ago with the short-lived Affliction promotion, but Belfort didnít accept it then, just as he wasn't exactly accepting it now.
"I said I can make it to 185, letís do a catchweight," Mousasi recalls. "[Belfort] didnít accept it, but he eventually went to the UFC and fought Rich Franklin at a catchweight. So that didnít make sense. But heís doing what is best for his career, I canít blame him."
Mousasi said he didnít think his and Belfortís schedules would mesh once heís ready to return. As for Mousasiís timetable for recovery, he said the earliest he could return would be in December, but more likely January or February. Though heís been cautious with his knee after injuring it twice, he feels itís stable and coming along fine. When asked if he still intended to come back as a middleweight, which is where he has stated heíd like to fight upon his return, he said thatís still the plan.
"I think so," he said. "Iím already dropping weight. I gained a lot of weight, I was 230, 235 maybe even. For light heavyweight thatís not much, but for me thatís a lot. Iím coming down slowly. Iím not 220. Yeah, slowly dropping weight, every week two pounds. Iím already focusing on the fight."
Who that ends up being against is still up in the air. Asked if there was anybody specific in his cross hairs, Mousasi said itís not his strong suit to call people out. However, he did reiterate that he wants a big name next, somebody preferably near the top of the division.
"I have no doubt in my abilities that I can beat any of the top ten guys," he said. "Once Iím focused I know I can beat them. I think people have their opinions."