If you thought Gegard Mousasi and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) split apart on bad terms, think again.
After earning a TKO victory over former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Mousasi tested the free agency market. After negotiating with the UFC and Bellator, Mousasi felt it was time to make the switch.
“The Dreamcatcher’s” manager Nima Safapour told MMAJunkie.com that his fighter got the deal he was looking for:
“Throughout the entire experience, Gegard asked me, ‘what’s the better deal?’ And I told him, ‘it’s never about what deal is better. It’s just different.’ What made it better was what Gegard wanted and what was best for his family. When he looked at that deal from that perspective, the Bellator deal was better.”
That isn’t to say that the UFC’s offer was a throwaway. Safapour made it clear that the promotion made a genuine offer to keep Mousasi on their roster.
“With that said, the UFC deal was competitive. And they fought for the deal up to the very end. They deserve a tremendous amount of credit for trying to make this deal, even if they came up short. The Bellator deal was the more competitive deal.”
Mousasi makes his Bellator debut on Oct. 20 against Alexander Shlemenko.