PFL releases former Bellator champion Gegard Mousasi from contract following threats of legal action

PFL releases former Bellator champion Gegard Mousasi following threats of legal actionGegard Mousasi is a free man. One day after the former Bellator middleweight champion slammed the PFL, calling it…

PFL releases former Bellator champion Gegard Mousasi following threats of legal action

Gegard Mousasi is a free man.

One day after the former Bellator middleweight champion slammed the PFL, calling it “the worst organization” and threatening them with legal action, the promotion’s head of fighter operations, Mike Kogan, confirmed that Mousasi has been released from his contract.

PFL releases Gegard Mousasi

“Bellator has released Gegard Mousasi from his agreement,” Kogan wrote. “We wish him all the best fighting in his next chapter.”

While Mousasi has not yet commented on the situation, his manager, Nima Safapour of Moments Management, referred to the release as “alleged” and called out the promotion for not standing by their “fighter first” mantra.

“We will not comment on the merits of the alleged release at this time for obvious reasons,” Safapour said in a written statement provided to MMA Junkie. “However, we believe there is a greater lesson here that our community should pay close attention to. For an organization that repeatedly claims to be ‘fighter first,’ we now truly see how PFL treats their fighters, especially their legends.”

Gegard Mousasi

Gegard Mousasi’s Threats of Legal action draw a response from pFL founder Donn Davis

Gegard Mousasi has not competed since a unanimous decision loss to Fabian Edwards in May 2023. 11 months prior, he surrendered his Bellator belt to Johnny Eblen. Following the PFL’s acquisition of the promotion late last year, Mousasi has vented his frustration over being shelved, accusing the PFL of refusing to honor his contract by asking him to take a pay cut.

“They said that the amount [of money I get paid], we don’t want to cut you, it’s so much, that it’s better for you, I don’t know, look somewhere else or do something else,” Mousasi said Wednesday on The MMA Hour.

“At this moment, I’m like, listen, if someone doesn’t want me, I’m like, ‘F*ck it. Let’s go.’ But my team around me is like, ‘F*ck it, we’ll sue them.’ If it was up to me, I would just go, but I don’t know. We’ll see. The team around me is not that happy. So I think there is going to be legal action against them.

During a recent appearance on the Weighing In podcast with ‘Big’ John McCarthy and Josh Thomson, PFL founder Donn Davis disputed Mousasi’s claim, suggesting that while they plan to honor every Bellator contract, they can’t guarantee every fighter will get exactly what they’re asking for.

“Occasionally we’ll have a fighter grumble,” Davis said. “It’s one of 205 (fighters we acquired from Bellator). You expect five to 10 percent issues on any deal. You can’t be perfect. You can be 90 to 95 percent. We’ve had a handful of people say, ‘Oh, I wish it went this way, I wish it went that way.’ I’m delighted. I’m very, very proud of how we treated our fighters.

“How we treat our employees. Most of all, the product. We just completed our second (Bellator show) in Paris, which was awesome. We didn’t sit on this for six months. We didn’t take a year off. We didn’t lay off 100 fighters. All the stuff that always happens in all acquisitions. So I just could not be more proud.

“I’ll say two things: One, what I’m super proud of is the market, and anyone you talk to – fighters, business partners, media, mangers – we’re direct, fair and reasonable. 100 percent. That’s my 35 years in business. That’s the culture we’ve built here. So I will say, without commenting out of respect on individual negotiations and specifics situations – we’re direct, fair and reasonable with everybody that we deal with.

“Will everybody’s contract be honored? Of course. Do some people have different ideas of what works and what doesn’t work? Sure. But we’re fair and reasonable with everybody. Will all 205 fighters (from Bellator) have everything fall the way they want? No.”

Gegard Mousasi vs. Fabian Edwards Headlines Bellator Paris, MMA Twitter Reacts

Having lost the title in 2022, former middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi will look to rebound when he meets Fabian Edwards in the main event of Bellator Paris this year. After a successful return to Paris last May, which featured victories for heavyw…

Having lost the title in 2022, former middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi will look to rebound when he meets Fabian Edwards in the main event of Bellator Paris this year. After a successful return to Paris last May, which featured victories for heavyweight king Ryan Bader and Yoel Romero, Bellator MMA will return to France’s capital…

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Johnny Eblen Dominates Gegard Mousasi To Claim Bellator Middleweight Title, Fellow Fighters React

Johnny EblenAt Bellator 282, Gegard Mousasi had his four-fight winning streak snapped as undefeated contender Johnny Eblen put a five-round beating on ‘The Dreamcatcher’ to claim the Bellator 185lb title. Gegard Mousasi went into the fight a heavy favorite, but from the first round, it became apparent that the odds did not reflect how the fight […]

Johnny Eblen

At Bellator 282, Gegard Mousasi had his four-fight winning streak snapped as undefeated contender Johnny Eblen put a five-round beating on ‘The Dreamcatcher’ to claim the Bellator 185lb title.

Gegard Mousasi went into the fight a heavy favorite, but from the first round, it became apparent that the odds did not reflect how the fight would truly play out. Eblen had Mousasi hurt in the first few minutes, using crisp boxing to light the now former champ up. This would be the story of the fight, as Eblen continued to land one-two combination’s on Mousasi, and then utilized his wrestling skills to dominate when the fight entered the grappling realms.

Whilst it looked like the fight was close to being finished on numerous occasions, Eblen ultimately controlled every single round, picking up a one-sided unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45).

Fighters React To Johnny Eblen’s Impressive Victory

Unsurprisingly, Johnny Eblen’s title-winning victory over Mousasi caused waves all across the MMA social media space. The new champ had numerous fellow fighters reacting, in both positive and negative ways.

UFC BMF title holder, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal, sent out a message of support to the ATT teammate, congratulating Eblen for picking up the upset victory.

However, Yoel Romero, who is coming off his own impressive win in the Bellator middleweight division, posted a challenge to the newly crowned champion:

Johnny Eblen also received support from another Bellator title holder, as welterweight champion Logan Storley posted:

What did you think of Johnny Eblen’s title winning performance?

Khabib Nurmagomedov Says Bellator’s “Gegard Mousasi Is The Most Underrated Fighter In MMA”, Another Former UFC Champion Agrees

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Gegard Mousasi, Lyoto MachidaFormer UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov believes Gegard Mousasi is the most underrated fighter in the sport. Gegard Mousasi is set to take on Johnny Eblen this Friday at Bellator 282. His last outing came against Austin Vanderford earlier in February in Dublin, Ireland. Mousasi put on a sensational performance needing less than a minute […]

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Gegard Mousasi, Lyoto Machida

Former UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov believes Gegard Mousasi is the most underrated fighter in the sport.

Gegard Mousasi is set to take on Johnny Eblen this Friday at Bellator 282. His last outing came against Austin Vanderford earlier in February in Dublin, Ireland. Mousasi put on a sensational performance needing less than a minute and a half to dispatch his opponent in the main event.

A trend we see repeated in his fights is his calmness inside the cage. Vanderford came out swinging hard from the first minute and despite throwing the kitchen sink at the 36-year-old Dutchman, he was unable to pressure him out of his game. Mousasi handed ‘The Gentleman’ the first loss of his professional career.

Khabib Nurmagomedov says “Gegard Mousasi is the most underrated fighter”

Following the win at Bellator 275, Khabib Nurmagomedov took to Twitter to heap praises on Mousasi.

@mousasi_mma is the most underrated fighter in MMA today. Congratulations Gegard #Bellator275

Mousasi’s next bout is against another undefeated challenger in Johnny Elben who also happens to train at the American Top Team gym alongside Vanderford. The pair will take to the octagon at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Currently on a four-fight win streak, ‘The Dreamcatcher’ has won 12 of his last 13 fights including his time in the UFC.

Lyoto Machida shares support for Mousasi

Another former UFC champion who expressed his support for Mousasi is Lyoto Machida, who fought Mousasi on two occasions, winning and losing one each.

“Nobody believes in what he can do, because his technique is very ordinary, nothing flashy,” said Machida. “But it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t kick as high as someone else, or he doesn’t do jump knees. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that he is good everywhere, so well-rounded and so calm. He can fight anybody and has fought everybody, and he wins.” (h/t ESPN)

The Bellator middleweight also has a win over Mark Hunt. Mousasi took on the much larger “Super Samoan” in a 2009 tournament under Dream, and managed to secure a first-round straight armbar submission.

Meanwhile, Gegard Mousasi remains unaffected by the talks. Much like Fedor Emelianenko, the composed Mousasi does not care about the titles and has only one aim ahead. “I don’t give a f— about belts,” Mousasi said. “I’m here to make money.”

Johnny Eblen On Bellator 282 Title Shot: “Higher Stakes, Same Sh*t”

Bellator middleweight contender Johnny Eblen is not feeling any added pressure ahead of his title challenge this Friday. In the main event of Bellator 282, Eblen will look to dethrone one of the world’s top middleweights, Gegard Mousasi. The former UFC star is in the midst of his second reign in the Bellator cage and…

Continue Reading Johnny Eblen On Bellator 282 Title Shot: “Higher Stakes, Same Sh*t” at MMA News.

Bellator middleweight contender Johnny Eblen is not feeling any added pressure ahead of his title challenge this Friday.

In the main event of Bellator 282, Eblen will look to dethrone one of the world’s top middleweights, Gegard Mousasi. The former UFC star is in the midst of his second reign in the Bellator cage and has already defended the belt twice since capturing the vacant 185-pound belt with a victory over Douglas Lima in 2020.

Having added the first blemish to Austin Vanderford’s record earlier this year, Mousasi will look to accomplish a similar feat when he shares the cage with Eblen at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena tomorrow night.

Like Vanderford, Eblen will enter his championship opportunity with a perfect 11-0 professional résumé. But while the pressure perhaps got too much for “The Gentleman,” who was finished inside one round, Eblen isn’t concerned about replicating that.

During a pre-fight interaction with the media, Eblen rejected the narrative that his upcoming collision with Mousasi feels any different to his previous fights, suggesting that the title fight is a natural progression for his career.

“I get a lot of questions like, ‘Hey, does it feel too much,’ Like, nah, it’s just higher stakes, same sh*t… It feels like the right step, it feels like nothing has really changed too much,” said Eblen. “If anything, I’m just fighting a little bit later, fighting a few more rounds, and fighting a better guy. That’s normal when you move up.”

Eblen: Mousasi Will Be Facing A “Different Animal”

With that, Eblen is incredibly confident that he can upset the odds on Friday and hand Mousasi his eight career loss in what will be his 59th appearance.

After admitting it’ll feel good to showcase his talents on the main-event stage and silence his detractors, “The Human Cheat Code” assured the champ that he’ll be sharing the cage with a “different animal” come fight night.

“It’s gonna put my name on the map, so it’s kinda nice. I get to shut some haters up… Solidify my name,” said Eblen. “People are gonna be like, ‘Damn, Johnny’s legit.’ … This my craft, and I’m putting my craft on this stage for everybody to see… Showcasing my craft on such a high-level guy, and executing things, it’s gonna feel good for me to do.

“I have a lot of tools on my tool belt, and I can’t wait to utilize all these tools when I go out there,” Eblen continued. “It’s gonna be a different fight stylistically (to Mousasi vs. Vanderford)… I’m a different animal.”

Do you think Johnny Eblen has what it takes to dethrone Gegard Mousasi?

Continue Reading Johnny Eblen On Bellator 282 Title Shot: “Higher Stakes, Same Sh*t” at MMA News.

Gegard Mousasi Questions Why MMA Would Be A Passion

Bellator Middleweight Champion Gegard Mousasi recently admitted that mixed martial arts is a job for him, not a hobby that he is passionate about. Not many MMA fighters encapsulate the word ‘longevity’ quite like Mousasi. Since making his professional debut in 2003, the Iranian-born Dutch has competed 58 times, having his hand raised in 49…

Continue Reading Gegard Mousasi Questions Why MMA Would Be A Passion at MMA News.

Bellator Middleweight Champion Gegard Mousasi recently admitted that mixed martial arts is a job for him, not a hobby that he is passionate about.

Not many MMA fighters encapsulate the word ‘longevity’ quite like Mousasi. Since making his professional debut in 2003, the Iranian-born Dutch has competed 58 times, having his hand raised in 49 of those appearances.

But despite a storied and lengthy career spanning nearly two decades, Mousasi still finds himself at the top, where he’s widely regarded as one of the top-10 active middleweights in the world. He’ll look to maintain that reputation when he returns to the cage to defend his gold against unbeaten contender Johnny Eblen in the main event of Bellator 282 this Friday.

But despite his ongoing dominance in Bellator’s 185-pound weight class, which began after a UFC stint that featured wins over Chris Weidman, Uriah Hall, Vitor Belfort, Thiago Santos, and Dan Henderson came to an end in 2017, Mousasi isn’t exactly passionate about the sport.

During a recent interview with MMA Underground’s John Morgan ahead of the third defense of his second middleweight reign in Bellator, Mousasi shared what is perhaps a rare sentiment among fighters.

While many often express their love for MMA, and even suggest that the money isn’t the main factor for them, their passion for the sport is, Mousasi says, “What passion?”

“I’m winning my fights. It’s still going good, so that’s why I continue… I hate when people say (about passion). I don’t love it, I’ve said it a hundred times,” said Mousasi. “If I had like, 50 million in the bank, I wouldn’t do it, I wouldn’t do it. I’m not crazy. It’s still better than a normal job. It pays the bills and I can take care of my family.

“Passion? What passion? I’m dieting, I’m rolling with sweaty men everyday, my body hurts, I don’t sleep well when I’m training, there’s pressure; you name it,” Mousasi continued. “There’s not much enjoyment. The process is not (enjoyed), but the results (are). If the results are good, then it’s fulfilling.”

Mousasi evidently doesn’t believe in the phrase ‘find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’.

Nevertheless, while his motive might be financial, the Dutchman has still forged one of the best MMA résumés of all time and cemented his legacy as a legend of the sport. And his story is still being written, with the next page being prepared for this Friday’s Bellator event.

Where does Gegard Mousasi rank among the all-time greatest middleweights?

Continue Reading Gegard Mousasi Questions Why MMA Would Be A Passion at MMA News.