Rafael Carvalho Eyeing Early 2018 Bout With Gegard Mousasi

Rafael Carvalho won’t make his next title defense against Gegard Mousasi, but he’s eyeing a 2018 bout with “The Dreamcatcher.”

Carvalho is the reigning Bellator middleweight champion. Carvalho says he’ll defend his gold against Alessio Sakara in December. Speaking to MMAFighting.com, the champion said he wouldn’t be surprised if plans change:

“MMA is a small world. I might not fight him today, but I might fight him in two days from now. Bellator is already making plans for 2018, and I’ll fight him early next year. We will fight as soon as possible. That’s up to the promotion. My job is to go in there and fight.”

He went on to say that a win over Mousasi would be a significant achievement in his mixed martial arts career.

“Mousasi has a big name and a history in the sport. I think people would start to show me more respect beating him, will see me as a champion. The North American media still doesn’t recognize me. I don’t know what I have to do to have their attention. But I don’t have to worry about that. I have to focus on training for my opponents and beating them up. Beating (Mousasi), I think people will look at me.”

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