Gegard Mousasi has signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator after failing to come to terms with the UFC over a new deal.
The 31-year-old Mousasi had been ranked No.5 in the UFC’s middleweight division and was on a five-fight unbeaten run that included victories over the likes of Chris Weidman, Vitor Belfort and Thales Leites, so the expectation had been that the promotion would be eager to retain his services.
However, Mousasi had made it clear after his current contract ended that he wanted to be paid what he felt he was worth, and it seems that the UFC were simply not willing to meet his expectations.
That allowed Bellator boss Scott Coker, who previously dealt with Mousasi in Strikeforce, to step in and offer him a deal to take yet another big name star away from the Octagon.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Gegard to the growing Bellator family,” Coker said in a statement. “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 list of fighters who have now switched over to Bellator now continues to grow, with Mousasi joining the likes of Rory MacDonald, Ryan Bader, Lorenz Larkin and Michael McDonald who have done so recently.