Fighters are determining that the UFC is not the one recreation on the town.
Prime-5 middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi turned the newest UFC star to make the leap from the Octagon to the Bellator cage when his signing was introduced Monday. He joins a bevy of notable names to modify rosters prior to now couple of years, an inventory that features present Bellator mild heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, fan favourite heavyweight Roy Nelson, and welterweight standout Rory MacDonald.
There are a number of the reason why this switch of expertise is happening, from the promise of assured compensation versus competing for a win bonus, to the liberty to barter with sponsors, and points with the powers that be within the UFC.
No matter the primary issue is, listed here are three extra excessive-profile fighters who might quickly be swayed to make the transfer to Bellator.
(Photograph courtesy: Motion Pictures)
By most accounts, “The Reem” is pretty completely satisfied together with his spot within the UFC. The 37-yr-previous heavyweight is likely one of the promotion’s most properly-compensated fighters after signing a brand new contract final February. He is fought 4 occasions since then, so his deal could possibly be up as early as 2018.
Why would he depart if every thing is copacetic proper now?
One phrase: Fedor.
As a lot enjoyable as he is having within the UFC, Overeem has already fought virtually each ranked heavyweight and his path to a different world title shot is unclear. By going to Bellator, the wheels can be put in movement for a dream struggle with “The Final Emperor” after years of the 2 hovering in one another’s orbit with out truly colliding.
Add in Overeem’s present relationship with Bellator president Scott Coker courting again to their days collectively within the Strikeforce promotion and it isn’t unreasonable to think about the damaging Dutchman wrapping up his MMA profession outdoors of the Octagon.
(Photograph courtesy: Getty Photographs)
Talking of Coker associates, Cyborg is one other fighter who can thank the Bellator boss for serving to her to realize a foothold in the USA. She and Overeem have been beforehand main gamers in Coker’s Strikeforce promotion and the UFC has did not market Cyborg with the identical effectiveness.
Even UFC president Dana White has admitted that the promotion has bungled its dealing with of Cyborg, who’s extensively considered the perfect ladies’s featherweight fighter on the planet and arguably the rightful queen of the feminine pound-for-pound record.
From forcing her to chop an additional 5 kilos for a few pointless one hundred forty-lb catchweight bouts to taking ceaselessly to get her a battle in 2017 to White allegedly blocking her on Instagram, the UFC and Cyborg merely can’t get on the identical web page.
Fortuitously for the 32-yr-previous Brazilian, Bellator already has a good ladies’s featherweight division that’s simply ready for a marquee star to take it excessive. Do not be stunned if Coker is the primary person who Cyborg calls when her contract reportedly expires in October.
(Photograph courtesy: Motion Photographs)
Whereas Overeem and Cyborg are already established names, Iaquinta is a rising light-weight contender who continues to be on the lookout for a run that may set up him as a star within the MMA world. He is gained 5 straight fights, 4 by knockout, however he is acquired extra publicity for his fiery dispute with UFC officers than his in-cage exploits.
Amongst different points with the promotion, Iaquinta has accused the UFC of underpaying him, and on multiple event he is threatened to retire to give attention to his actual property enterprise, a enterprise that’s proving to be extra profitable than cage preventing.
Every time it is time for Iaquinta to barter a brand new contract, he ought to go to the desk understanding that he’d be an awesome match for Bellator if the UFC is not prepared to satisfy his calls for. As an alternative of scrambling in a light-weight rat race which will or might not ever result in a gathering with Conor McGregor, “Ragin’ Al” can guide matchups with Bellator standouts Brent Primus, Michael Chandler, and Benson Henderson.
Iaquinta might be a UFC star sometime, nevertheless it will not harm him to construct up his identify and leverage elsewhere.