Middleweight Gegard Mousasi leaves the UFC for Bellator
Mousasi and Bellator confirmed the six-fight deal yesterday on their respective Twitter accounts.
— Gegard Mousasi (@mousasi_mma) July 10, 2017
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) July 10, 2017
“I’m thrilled to welcome Gegard to the growing Bellator family,” said Bellator president Scott Coker in a press release. “He’s one of the most well-rounded fighters in all of MMA and can compete in multiple divisions, so that really opens up some exciting matchmaking opportunities for us and for the fans. We’re looking forward to having him compete on Spike very soon.”
The 31-year-old Mousasi leaves the UFC with a 9-3-0 record, with his last octagon fight a TKO win over former champion Chris Weidman.
“I am looking forward to fighting in Bellator,” added Mousasi. “I have a long-standing relationship with Scott Coker that goes back many years. Be ready, I am coming after the Bellator middleweight championship.”
“The Dreamcatcher” explained on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that pay and working again with the former Strikeforce promoter Coker were major factors in his decision to leave. He also mentioned that the UFC did increase its initial offer but stopped because they suspected he was leaving for Bellator.
Mousasi now joins former UFC fighters Rory MacDonald, Lorenz Larkin, Michael McDonald, Matt Mitrione, Roy Nelson, Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva, Cheick Kongo, Benson Henderson, and Ryan Bader in Bellator.