Heavyweight MMA veteran Matt Mitrione has announced he has made the decision to leave the UFC and journey over to rival promotion Bellator.
“After a lovely free-agency period, I decided I’m going to go to Bellator,” Mitrione said on The MMA Hour. “I was really interested in the options Bellator was offering and I was really interested in the conversation they were willing to have. I think they’re making the right moves and sometimes you get into a spot where the things you fell in love with in one organization don’t seem to be there anymore, and greener pastures might be somewhere else.”
Mitirone was openly critical of the UFC’s official apparel deal with Reebok when the terms of the deal were made public last year. The deal made it difficult for the majority of UFC fighters to make money from sponsorships outside the promotion, and it seems the terms offered by Bellator will allow him more financial success – at least in the short-term.
Mitrione is coming off a controversial TKO loss to Travis Browne at UFC Fight Night 81, in which he suffered a serious eye poke. He holds notable wins over Kimbo Slice, Shawn Jordan and Gabriel Gonzaga.
As well as being the newest competitor in Bellator’s heavyweight division, Mitrione has also secured a commentary position calling Bellator kickboxing fights. He will make his Bellator commentary debut at Bellator 152 on April 16th.
A date and opponent for Mitrione’s competitive Bellator debut have not yet been announced.