It looks like popular UFC middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi (42–6–2) has found a new home. According to a report from MMA Junkie’s Chamatkar Sandhu, the former Strikeforce and Dream champ has signed on with Bellator MMA. Sweden’s Kimura Crew would later verify the report, and while no official announcement has been made, it looks like Mousasi has fought his last UFC bout.
I'm hearing from a reliable source that Gegard Mousasi has signed with Bellator MMA. It's one source but I'm trying to get confirmation now.
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) July 10, 2017
If these reports turn out to be correct, then Gegard Mousasi’s final UFC bout will have been his controversial finish of Chris Weidman at UFC 210 in Buffalo. The thirty-one year old Dutch fighter, born in Iran and of Armenian descent, stopped Weidman with knees at the event, which caused a controversy when at least one of the knees was mistakenly thought to be illegal. Weidman was given time to recover, however after video review the fight was called.
That fight marked Mousasi’s fifth consecutive UFC win. Despite his success, however, his name was routinely left out of title talk. With the division currently awaiting a title unification bout between Michael Bisping and Robert Whittaker, and the UFC reportedly uninterested in paying more for Mousasi’s services, it seems the time was right for him to reunite with old Strikeforce boss Scott Coker.
The move also represents yet another defection from the UFC to Bellator, following names like Phil Davis, Ryan Bader, Lorenz Larkin, Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva, Rory MacDonald, Jason McDonald, Matt Mitrione, and Roy Nelson.
It’s possible Bellator MMA could announce the news on air this Friday, as Bellator 181 takes place in Thackerville, Oklahoma that night.
Update: Mousasi announced on today’s edition of The MMA Hour that he has signed a six fight deal with Bellator MMA.