Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi has ripped the UFC over their uniform rules and what it means for the fighters.
Upon leaving the UFC back in 2017, Gegard Mousasi was riding a nice win streak with many believing he was in line to challenge for the promotion’s middleweight championship. Instead, though, he opted to leave and test the waters in Bellator, where he is a two-time middleweight champion having defended the belt three times. Most recently, he was able to see off the challenge of Austin Vanderford in Dublin to secure his 49th pro win in mixed martial arts.
Ahead of him defending the belt against Johnny Eblen next month, Mousasi looked back on his exit from UFC and pinpointed the Reebok deal as one of the reasons why he wanted to leave.
“You took those away, you put Reebok. All the money went to UFC. Paying a fighter that can make $200K a fight, then it goes to $10K [because of] Reebok. That’s stealing from the fighter,” he said.
“They could’ve said, ‘OK, f*** that.’ And then they killed the whole sponsorships, everything.”
“They could’ve sent every fighter $10K checks as an employee (as a) thank you for where we are now (after the sale). $10K is nothing,” he said. “They took the sponsorship, they put Reebok. I was making $6K with Reebok.”
“(What) they were giving the fighters, it wasn’t always the best. They could’ve done a better job. You don’t have to be that greedy.”
“I’m thankful to UFC, to be honest. After Strikeforce… they bought Strikeforce, I went there, they gave me opportunity. I’m not bashing on them. I’m still thankful,” he explained.
“I can understand profit goes [first]. But my thing is more [about] treating your employees better, and then the business. But maybe I would go bankrupt (if I did that).”
Quotes via Bloody Elbow
Do you agree with Gegard Mousasi?