Top middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi has left the UFC, signing a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA

The Dutch fighter made the announcement himself earlier on Monday while speaking to the MMA Hour podcast and stated that while the UFC’s financial offer was similar to offered by Bellator, the two key issues that clinched the deal
was working with current Bellator head and former StrikeForce head Scott Coker, and the UFC’s Reebok sponsorship deal

Mousasi has worked with Coker in the past during his tenure in the StrikeForce promotion, where he won the StrikeForce light heavyweight championship in 2009

The thirty one year old has stated that he wants to be a multi-divisional champion in Bellator, specifically mentioning current middleweight champion Rafael Cavalcante and light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader as future opponents, while also commenting that the new deal is for six fights

Mousasi is currently riding a five fight winning streak and was thought to be on the verge of a middleweight championship bout, however the Dutchman was passed-over by the UFC for either an interim or championship-proper bout, with the UFC instead booking last Saturday’s Robert Whittaker versus Yoel Romero fight for the interim UFC middleweight title instead

Mousasi, born in Tehran, Iran, currently holds a mixed martial arts record of 42-6-2 and holds notable wins over the likes of Vitor Belfort, Mark Hunt, Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall, while he has won championships under the Cage Warriors, StrikeForce and DREAM banners

By Matthew Singh-Dosanjh