Time to jump ship.
Now former UFC Heavyweight Matt “Meathead” Mitrione has signed with Bellator MMA as announced by Mitrione Monday morning on the MMA Hour. Mitrione joins the growing list of big signings by the promotion that include Benson Henderson, Phil Davis, Josh Thomson, and Wanderlei Silva.
Mitrione last competed against Travis Browne at UFC Fight Night 81: Dillashaw vs. Cruz losing in controversial fashion due to repeated fouls by Browne involving multiple eye pokes. This was the last fight of his UFC contract and followed suit with testing out the free agency.
Mitrione stated that he had an offer on the table from Bellator and the UFC chose not to match. Mitrione called his free-agent period “lovely” and said he was excited about a new start with Bellator. He added that his Bellator contract is a four-fight deal and every fight is a guaranteed six-figure purse. Mitrione said he’s now “making double” what the UFC offered him as show and win money.
“I was really interested in the options that Bellator was offering and I was really interested in the conversation they were willing to have. I think that they’re making the rights moves,” Mitrione said. “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.”
Also part of Mitrione’s deal is a color commentary gig with Bellator Kickboxing. He’ll be debuting on the inaugural show April 16.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do all my life,” Mitrione said.
Mitrione is 9-5 with all of his professional fights being under the UFC. Mitrione got his start in MMA after starring in the 10th season of the Ultimate Fighter that starred the likes of Roy Nelson and Kimbo Slice. Mitrione joins a very stagnant Heavyweight division in Bellator that has not seen its champion, Vitaly Minakov, fight under the Bellator banner since 2014. There are however multiple opponents that Mitrione could see himself facing such as rematches with Cheick Kongo or Kimbo Slice, Justin Wren, or even Bobby Lashley. But it would seem Mitrione already has a first possible opponent set in his sights after engaging in minor Twitter banter with fellow Bellator Heavyweight Tony Johnson