Former UFC heavyweight contender Matt Mitrione has signed with Bellator MMA following a short period of free agency. The deal is a four-fight deal with a guaranteed six-figure purse each fight which is apparently double of what he would have made with the UFC.
Mitrione is coming off of a TKO loss to Travis Browne at UFC Fight Night 81, which he is attempting to appeal after being poked in the eye multiple times in the fight. That fight marked Mitrione’s last fight on his UFC contract putting him into free agency.
Mitrione broke the news on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani where he spoke about the different offers he got from Bellator and the UFC as well as his decision-making process.
"I was really interested in the options that Bellator was offering and I was really interested in the conversation they were willing to have,” said Mitrione. “I think that they're making the rights moves. I think sometimes you get into a spot where the things you fall in love about one organization don't necessarily seem to be anymore and greener pastures seem to be somewhere else."
He also cited the UFC’s deal with Reebok as one of the factors that influenced his decision.
“I don't think some of the things that happened, especially with like the sponsors were handled as well as they should have been. And I've always said my opinion directly to Lorenzo. I told Lorenzo my thoughts on it, how to make it better. It just wasn't the conversation that I was hoping it would go. But I don't think that had a reason in them not offering me something else. I think they know that I have a value."
Mitrione joins Ben Henderson and Wanderlei Silva as some of the biggest recent signings by Bellator.