Bellator is Picking and Choosing their UFC Castoffs

| June 6, 2013 | 7:27 pm | Reply

BellatorBellator MMA CEO Bjorn Rebney has said on many occasions that Bellator would never become a feeder system for the UFC. He’s also stated that only under the right circumstances would Bellator sign fighter’s castoff by the UFC.

Those “right circumstances” have been coming up pretty often of late.

As the UFC has been cleaning house a bit over the last few months by either releasing or not resigning its fighters, Bellator has had the luxury to pick and choose amongst them. They’ve stuck to their guns and only signed a few cast-offs, but some of their decisions are questionable.

Most recently the number two MMA promotion has signed the former UFC light heavyweight Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to a King Mo style Pro Wrestling / MMA contract. Rampage was unhappy with the UFC and now can express that unhappiness while promoting his new home. Rampage is not the same fighter he once was but the 205 pound division in Bellator could use a boost.

Another recent light heavyweight signing from Bellator MMA was Vladimir Matyushenko who was released by the UFC following back to back defeats. Like Rampage, “The Janitor” has seen his better days inside the cage but the Russian is also getting rather long in the tooth as well.

The surprise signing by Bellator was of welterweight Matt Riddle who was released by the UFC following his second positive marijuana test. Prior to Riddle being let go the UFC had released highly rank welterweight Jon Fitch whom Bellator expressed no interest in. Riddle quickly signed with Legacy Fighting Championship but that contract would later be purchased by Bellator. So Riddle makes more sense than Fitch???

Riddle is scheduled to participate in Bellator’s season nine welterweight tournament, while Matyushenko and Rampage currently have no fight lined up. Rumor has it that heavyweight Cheick Kongo has also signed with Bellator MMA but Bjorn Rebney says those reports are premature.

Other former UFC fighters currently under contract with Bellator MMA include Paul Daley, Marcus Davis, Mike Guymon, War Machine, Doug Marshall, Seth Petruzelli and Ben Saunders. These fighters all fought somewhere else before signing on the dotted line with Bellator.

Obviously Bjorn Rebney and Bellator MMA want to distance themselves from the UFC. They do not want be thought of as a feeder league to the big show or where the recently released fighters go to continue their careers. Thinking heir decisions out and picking fighters that fit the Bellator model is fine as long as they are making the correct decisions. Only time will tell on their decision but either way, Bellator isn’t going anywhere!

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Category: Bellator, MMA, Opinion, UFC

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