Bellator Signs Gegard Mousasi
One of the top middleweights in the world is leaving the UFC at the peak of his powers, as Gegard Mousasi announced on Monday that he has signed with Bellator MMA.
The signing was rumored on Monday morning before being confirmed by Mousasi on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. Bellator sent out a press release shortly thereafter, officially announcing that Mousasi will be joining their roster:
LOS ANGELES — Bellator MMA is proud to announce the signing of perennial top contender Gegard Mousasi to an exclusive, multi-fight contract.
Long-considered to be one of the elite two-division threats in MMA, Mousasi joins Bellator currently riding a five-fight win streak that includes recent knockout victories over two former world champions in Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort. Prior to his UFC tenure, Mousasi captured the STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight title, as well as the DREAM light heavyweight and middleweight titles in Japan. The signing sees Mousasi rejoin Bellator President Scott Coker following his successful run with STRIKEFORCE from 2009-2013.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Gegard to the growing Bellator family,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “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.”
“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 Iranian-born Mousasi, who currently trains out of The Netherlands, has amassed an overall career record of 42-6-2 and has earned victories over some of the sports’ biggest names, including Dan Henderson, “Jacare” Souza, Mark Hunt, Ovince Saint-Preux, Melvin Manhoef, Hector Lombard and “Babalu” Sobral. The addition of Mousasi adds depth to an ever-growing Bellator roster, which has recently seen free agents Rory MacDonald, Lorenz Larkin, Michael McDonald and current Bellator light heavyweight champRyan Bader join the Viacom-owned promotion.
Mousasi last fought in April, defeating former middleweight champ Chris Weidman at UFC 210. He enters Bellator riding a five-fight winning streak.