Mousasi Explains His Jump to Bellator

While Bellator MMA has been gaining several talents and prospects, including some familiar faces to UFC fans, practically nobody expected Gegard Mousasi to jump ship from the UFC to Bellator.

Mousasi was a top-ranked middleweight in the UFC, and he’s currently on a five-fight win streak. Some speculated another big fight and perhaps a future title shot if he stayed in the UFC.

But Mousasi recently opened up and explained his reasoning for switching promotions, stating that he is already experiencing a more positive morale in Bellator.

“There’s a connection that I don’t have with UFC. It’s a company, like a factory. With Bellator, it’s more that I’m part of the family, and I’m doing the best I can to grow with the family. If I was to criticize [the UFC], I think the fairness of payment or the fairness of getting a title shot, it’s too much about the name of the fighter and who they feel they can build as a star as opposed to who is the best fighter.”

Mousasi also mentioned that there is a bit of a logjam in the UFC’s middleweight division. Back in July, Robert Whittaker defeated Yoel Romero for the interim championship, while current world champion Michael Bisping defends against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217 next month. This means a unification match would be necessary, and Mousasi would have to wait and face someone else in the division, such as former champion and current #2-ranked UFC middleweight Luke Rockhold.

Mousasi criticized the UFC for allegedly favoring certain fighters, namely UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor, and giving them easier paths.

“Before the belt I’d have to fight probably Luke Rockhold, I would have fought Yoel Romero because [Robert] Whittaker is next. It would have made my road so difficult to get to the top. Some get an easy road. They give the fighters they like match-ups suited for them so they can keep winning. They’ll probably do Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3. Why? Because McGregor has a good shot of winning. They’re not going to make a fight with Khabib [Nurmagomedov] or Tony [Ferguson] because it’s bad for the promotion. Those things, you feel as a fighter. I’m not making things up. It’s frustrating.”

Mousasi makes his Bellator debut in the main event of Bellator 185 on Oct. 20, facing Alexander Shlemenko.

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