Bellator MMA has retained the services of another popular free agent with the signing former UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione to a multi-fight deal.
Mitrione announced the news during a Monday appearance on “The MMA Hour.” The 37-year-old fighter, who became a free agent in January, said that the UFC did not pursue its right to counter Bellator’s offer.
“I have no axe to grind with the UFC at all,” said Mitrione.
In addition to competing for the California-based organization, “Meathead” will also take a seat in the commentary booth. Mitrione will serve as color commentator for the upcoming Bellator Kickboxing series of events, beginning with an April 16 card in Torino, Italy.
“I was really interested in the options that Bellator was offering, and I was really interested in the conversation that they were willing to have,” Mitrione said of the negotiations. “I think they’re making the right moves. I think that sometimes you get to a spot where the things you fall in love with one organization don’t really seem to be anymore, and greener pastures might be somewhere else. I think that Bellator sang a really nice song.”
Mitrione spent the first 14 fights of his MMA career competing inside the Octagon, running up a record of 9-4 with eight knockouts. The former football player suffered losses in his last two UFC outings, being submitted by Ben Rothwell and punched out by Travis Browne. While no opponent has been announced for his Bellator debut, Mitrione has already begun talking trash to promotional up-and-comer Tony Johnson.
They brought me in for exciting fights & ratings, u provide neither. You get other dudes pregnant. Get your game up https://t.co/BXUv5xR3Ku— Matt Mitrione (@mattmitrione) March 14, 2016