O’Brien-Mousasi Back On, Rodriguez Says

By Tony Loiseleur Jul 9, 2010
TOKYO -- Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez will not face Gegard Mousasi in the opening round of the Dream light heavyweight grand prix at Dream 15 on Saturday at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Rodriguez agreed to fill in as a replacement for Jake O’Brien, but Mousasi’s camp declined. Mousasi has instead agreed to face O’Brien, who, according to sources, was struggling to cut excess weight and meet the 205-pound limit at the time the decision was made.

Matt Hume had asked me if I could make the cut, and I told him that I could maybe get down,” Rodriguez said. “Then they asked Gegard’s camp [about the fight], and they said that they would prefer to take Jake.”

According to sources, O’Brien never made the weight limit, as he clocked in at 226 pounds. Still, the light heavyweight tournament bout against Mousasi appears as if it will go forward. Dream has not yet released O’Brien’s official weight for the match.

“It’s definitely going to happen,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez expressed satisfaction with Dream’s attempts to arrange a last-minute bout for him. He had originally agreed to meet Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem at the event.

“Like I said, they’ve been really great with me,” Rodriguez said. “[Being paid in full is] what they’ve promised me, and they’ve taken care of me. I’m content. But if I would have had an opportunity to fight either Overeem or Gegard, I would have been very happy. I’m sitting here very happy and ready to go to work. I think the opportunity will come in the future.”
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