Bellator MMA have scooped yet another former UFC fighter from the open market, as heavyweight Matt Mitrione has signed a deal with North America’s number 2 promotion.
The Ultimate Fighter alumnus announced that his free agency was at an end during Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“After a lovely free agency period, I decided I am going to go to Bellator,” said the popular 37-year-old. “I was really interested in the options that Bellator was offering and I was really interested in the conversation that they were willing to have and I think that they are making the right moves. I think sometimes you get to a spot where the things you fell in love with about one organization don’t seem to be there anymore and greener pastures might be somewhere else. And I think Bellator sang a really nice song. I think you get to a spot that you’re looking for more opportunities and other avenues with professionalism and that is what I got with Bellator and I am excited about it”.
“With my contract with Bellator, I signed a multi-fight deal and every fight is guaranteed 6 figures,” added Mitrione. “I’m making more than double what the UFC offered me for show and win”. He later confirmed that the deal was for four fights.
The 9-5 heavyweight also revealed that he had landed a gig commentating on Bellator’s kickboxing shows.
Mitrione fought out his UFC contract at Fight Night 81 back in January, losing via 3rd round TKO to Travis Browne. It wasn’t the ideal way to end his tenure in the only promotion he has ever worked for, as not only did he drop his 2nd fight in a row, he also suffered a broken orbital bone. The injury resulted in one of the more grotesque visuals in MMA history.
Prior to those back-to-back losses Mitrione had won 3 fights in a row.
According to the former NFL player, the UFC did not counter the offer that he received from Bellator.
Mitrione follows in the footsteps of former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, who signed with Bellator earlier this year after testing his value on the open market. Following that signing, Bellator CEO Scott Coker had promised further name acquisitions.
The company’s latest addition didn’t waste much time getting stuck into another member of the Bellator MMA heavyweight division – Tony Johnson Jr.
They brought me in for exciting fights & ratings, u provide neither. You get other dudes pregnant. Get your game up https://t.co/BXUv5xR3Ku
— Matt Mitrione (@mattmitrione) March 14, 2016