When streaking middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi stepped into the Octagon with Chris Weidman at last Saturday’s UFC 210, it marked the final obligation on his current UFC contract. Though it was not without controversy, he was able to win this final contracted fight, and will now be able to test free agency as one of the hottest middleweights in the world.
This weekend, when the UFC returns to Fox, streaking Brazilian middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will look to follow in Mousasi’s footsteps, closing out his current contract with a win over the dangerous Robert Whittaker.
While both Mousasi and Jacare are likely to have exclusive negotiation periods with the UFC, during which time they cannot legally be courted by other promotions, failure to agree to new contracts with the UFC in the allotted time will mean other promotions can begin making them offers. Should it come to this, we can expect Bellator MMA to be their most interested suitors.
Speaking to Chamatkar Sandhu, Bellator President Scott Coker has confirmed that, should Mousasi and Jacare become legitimate free agents – which is entirely possible given their current gripes with the UFC – his promotion will make efforts to sign both.
He said they just need to make sure they are free to speak to other promotions and don't have an exclusive negotiation period with the UFC.
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) April 10, 2017
As the former president of the now defunct Strikeforce, where both Mousasi and Jacare enjoyed some of their best years, Coker is very familiar with both fighters. Furthermore, Bellator has recently been given the green light by deep-pocketed parent company Viacom to sign all the big-name free agents it can handle. Mousasi and Jacare undeniably fit that bill.
While Viacom’s heavyweight, light heavyweight and welterweight divisions are currently brimming with top talent, its middleweight division is quite weak. As such, Jacare and Mousasi would be welcome additions, and both could look forward to immediate title fights with reigning champ Rafael Carvalho if they signed.
Do you think Mousasi and Jacare will end up on the Bellator roster? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/10/2017.