Freelance: Gegard Mousasi Signs with Bellator MMA
It was revealed on yesterday (July 10) as part of MMAFigting.com’s “The MMA Hour” simulcast web-show by Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi himself (42-6-2 in MMA, 9-3 UFC) that he has since left the world leader in MMA for greener pastures in the rival Bellator MMA organization.
The Dutch fighter had previously worked under current Bellator President Scott Coker for the now-defunct Strikeforce organization. Mousasi is set to enter the Bellator cage six times over the course of his new deal, although the exact financial details were not disclosed at the tome of this writing (July 11.)
Mousasi had been with the UFC for four years and been a top contender in their middleweight (185-pound division.)
Mousasi had previously said on UFC Tonight that both the UFC and his management wanted to get a deal done with the company, but he was looking for an increase in pay after being a consistent co-main event option.
He said now that he is with Bellator, he is eyeing that title in addition to possibly moving up to challenge for the Bellator light heavyweight (205-pound) championship against newly minted king, Ryan “Darth” Bader (23-5 overall in MMA, 1-0 in Bellator), He just recently won the title at Madison Square Garden late last month as part of the Bellator: NYC/ Bellator 180 pay-per-view event.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Gegard to the growing Bellator family,” Coker said in an official 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.”
Mousasi last fought against Chris “The All-American” Weidman (now 13-3 overall in MA, 9-3 in the UFC) at UFC 210 in Buffalo, New York, recording a controversial TKO stoppage victory.
His new contract also includes the following:
A possible cut if Pay-Per-View profits should he compete on a PPV event
More per-fight/ higher up-front pay
Opportunities for overseas and boxing fights
The ability to move between weight classes (as mentioned above)
Additional drug testing
Mousasi was very great to the UFC and for the time he spent with them but did say per USA Today’s MMAJunkie.com:
“One fight before my contract expired, I believe they would have pushed bigger negotiations, and it would have been different. But this company, they have a lot of debt. That’s not the fighters’ fault that they’re cutting staff and cutting fighters’ money. That’s not our problem…
They gave me $10,000 for Reebok. Ten-thousand dollars. What can I do with that? Even if I don’t make $10,000, I’m not required to do anything (with Bellator). I can do whatever I like. I’m more happy about that than the $10,000 I get – it’s a slap in the face. (Reebok is) literally stealing from the fighters.”
Over the course of his interview with Ariel Helwani, he mentioned that he felt he would be going to Bellator from the very start of his brief time as a free agent based on his past positive history with Coker.
The date for Mousasi's official Bellator debut is still pending.